Scores of workers of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commissioner on Tuesday staged protest in front of its office in Owerri over 80 percent slash in their salaries.The protesters blocked entrace of the ISOPADEC secretariat with mock casket and had refused all effort to have them remove the casket for management to meet with them.
The workers who clutched placards with various inscriptions to depict their plights, the workers demanded an immediate end to what they called an “outrageous” cut in their monthly salaries.
The enraged workers said that no amount of intimidation and clampdown would stop them from demanding complete payment of their salaries.
The chairman of the oil workers, comrade Chinedu Awuzie, and his Welfare counterpart, Ifeanyi Adakwa,” despite these intimidations by the government, ISOPADEC workers will always fight for their right.”
The chairman, Awuzie, disclosed that the slash in their salaries, started in join 2020, when they were hit the new policy by the state government.
He said “In their first protest, the government arrested 15 of us, including pregnant women and detained them for 35 days in prison custody before court granted them bail.In the second protest, the government sacked 108 of us in a swoop, alleging employment irregularities. But this development will not deter us. We continue to ask for our rights. The first protest was on April 7 2020 and the second one on April 9, 2021.”
Our correspondent gathered that even the board members in ISOPADEC and their aides had not received their allowances and salaries since January, 2021.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Commission, Promise Ekeh, confirmed that ISOPADEC workers salaries witnessed slash, but that the Managing Director, Chief Charles Orie, with the help of the board was engaging the government to finding a lasting solution to the problem.
He said that since the oil workers were not entitled to pension, their demand was justifiable.