From Damian Duruiheoma, Owerri
After waiting for three months without salaries, workers of Imo State have appealed to Governor Hope Uzodimma to end their suffering by paying them the outstanding salaries.
They said the biting effects of the partial lockdown of the state occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic had worsened their plight.
The workers, who spoke through the organized labour during the celebration of this year’s Workers Day in Owerri weekend, lamented that despite the directive by Governor Uzodimma for their salaries to be paid before the end of every month, they were yet to receive salaries since February to April, 2023.
In the address presented by the state chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Austin Chilakpu, the organised labour disclosed that workers primary and secondary schools in the state as well as those in nineteen parastatals and agencies were affected in the unpaid salaries.
Chilakpu listed the affected agencies where workers were owed three months salary arrears to include: Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Agriculture Development Programme (ADP), Imo State Water Corporation, Imo State Poverty Alleviation Bureau, primary and secondary school teachers.
Others are Imo State University, Imo State Polytechnic, Imo State Library Board, Imo State Universal Basic Education Board, Imo State Secondary Education Board, Imo Tourism Board amongst others.
Chilakpu therefore called on Governor Uzodimma to direct the office of the Accountant General for the immediate release of the salaries of workers in the affected agencies and institutions, adding that the governor should direct the immediate payment of the April, 2023 to workers in the state to enable them cushion the effect of the continued of the lockdown.
Chilakpu also reminded Governor Uzodimma that workers in various agencies were owed promotion arrears from 2014 till date.
This, he said, had been one of the contentious issues between the organised labour and the previous administrations, calling on the governor to direct the agencies and institutions concerned to pay the workers their deserved promotion arrears.
The organised labour also lamented the withholding of check-off dues belonging to industrial unions by the state government to the tune of 46 months by some parastatals, saying that the non-payment of check-off dues were seriously affecting all industrial unions.
Chilakpu used the opportunity to appeal to Governor Uzodimma to direct the Accountant General to release the withheld check-off dues to the unions to enable the concerned unions to remit to their respective national headquarters.
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