The last may not have been heard on the current standoff between the organized labour and State government as Imo Chapter of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the state government to rescind its plans to privatise its agencies.
The state Chairman of the congress, Mr Austin Chilakpo, made the call on Tuesday during a protest embarked by workers in the state’s public service to kick against the move.
Chilakpo expressed dismay over government’s plan to commercialise more agencies and parastatals when the ones already privatised had been run aground and welfare of the staff disregarded.
He also condemned alleged readiness of members of the Imo State House of Assembly to approve the planned privatisation of the agencies. He expressed dismay at ‘’clandestine moves’’ by the lawmakers to repeal or amend the laws establishing parastatals in the state for the purpose of commercialising them.
The labour leader said that the workers were also aggrieved over the attitude of the governor, who appeared unconcerned about their plight. He expressed dismay over the disregard for the seven day warning strike action which the workers had taken.
He said that the workers in the agencies were owed 23 months salaries, adding that the claim was verifiable. “Our claims are verifiable; the workers in the state civil service are owed over 23 months in unpaid salaries and we demand that we should be paid.
“Schools will soon resume and fees will be paid, rents are due and yet no salary has been paid; the workers are suffering. We are only asking for our rights and not trying to unseat the governor; our claims are not a fluke; we have documents to support them,” he said.
Chilakpo decried the case of pensioners who, he said, were being owed many months’ pension arrears, adding that some of them had died.
He however urged the workers to remain peaceful in their protests to prevent breakdown of law and order.