Rochas Okorocha
Rochas Okorocha

Imo State workers protest Okorocha’s threat to sack 5,000 workers

Mfonobong Akpan

Owerri,the Imo State capital was yesterday shut down by members of Organised Labour protesting Governor Rochas Okorocha’s threat to relieve 5,000 workers of their jobs in the civil service.

The protesting workers, joined by the national of­ficers of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), mem­bers of industrial unions from South-East and South-South in solidar­ity, caused traffic jam as they marched round major roads of Owerri metropo­lis, displaying placards with various inscriptions such as “we cannot be in­timidated by Okorocha, enough is enough, let Imo workers be and salary is our right not privilege.”

During the 2016 budget presentation to the House of Assembly, Governor Okorocha announced that the government had con­cluded plans to disengage about 5,000 workers to reduce the wage bill of the government.

However, addressing the National President of NLC, Ayuba Wabba, and his entourage at the Gov­ernment House, Okoro­cha said he appreciated the concern of the leaders of the NLC,but that the labour leaders were obvi­ously misinformed about the conditions of the work­ers.

The governor said: “I appreciate the concern of the national leaders of the NLC, but you must have been misinformed about the situation in Imo State because this government is anchored on the welfare of the people.

“I am the first governor in the entire country to pay workers N20,000 mini­mum wage when others are paying N18,000 and I have paid workers on the 18th of every month in the past four years but the la­bour leaders last year insti­gated workers to embark on strike when the govern­ment owed them just one month which was really unnecessary.”

Okorocha accused the workers of not only be­ing ungrateful but acted as opposition members and not partners with the state government, insist­ing that no worker is owed salary except workers of Adapalm because of is­sues arising from their em­ployment which the state government is trying to resolve.

He further noted that the state Chairman of NLC, Austin Chilakpu, instead of working closely with the government has been instigating the workers.

Speaking earlier, Wabba said the NLC was in the state to intervene in the situation.

source: sunnews

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