Imo govt slashed salary by 80%, arrested and sacked workers for protesting – ISOPADEC chair
Comrade Chinedu Awuzie, the chairman of the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC), has accused the state government of slashing salaries of workers under its aegis by 80 per cent and sacking no fewer than 108 persons after a protest over the development.
Awuzie revealed this during a protest by ISOPADEC workers on Tuesday at their office in Owerri, the LEADERSHIP Newspaper reported.
According to the paper, the workers carried different placards with different inscriptions demanding full payment of their salaries and a stop of the slash.
The union chair explained that the salary slash started in 2020 when the state government introduced the new policy.
He added that when the workers protested the government arrested 15 persons, including pregnant women and detained them for 35 days in prison custody before the court granted them bail.
He said "during the second protest, the government sacked 108 of us in a swoop, alleging employment irregularities. But this development will not deter us. We will continue to ask for our rights. The first protest was on April 7, 2020 and the second one on April 9, 2021".
He, however, insisted that no amount of intimation will cow them to accept the development which they described as an anomaly.
One of the workers who pleaded anonymity said even the board members in ISOPADEC and their aides were yet to receive their allowances and salaries since January 2021.
When contacted, the public relations officer of the commission, Promise Ekeh, confirmed that salaries were slashed, but added that the managing director, Chief Charles Orie, alongside the board members were engaging the government to find a lasting solution to the problem, the paper reported.
He noted that since the oil workers were not entitled to pension, their demand was justifiable.