The organized labour is set for a showdown with the Imo state government over the suspension and stoppage of salaries of workers in 19 state-owned parastatals, agencies and departments through radio announcements. This is as the state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has directed workers to disregard the order and report at their duty posts.
The Governor Rochas Okorocha-led government had, in several radio announcements signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Jude Ejiogu, suspended the workers beginning from January 14, 2016, adding that they would be informed of any further re-engagement plans.
The workers were also directed to submit any government property in their possession within 48 hours, while the civil servants on secondment in the affected areas will be redeployed to their parent ministries. The announcement noted that the parastatals were not yielding revenue, but had incurred huge expenditure for government, even as the Governor stressed that concessioning the affected agencies could open other opportunities for the affected workers.
But addressing journalists after an emergency executive meeting of the state NLC, Chilakpu said that workers could not be sacked on radio, stressing that the channel of disengaging workers at any level was clear.
“We have asked our members in the mentioned parastatals to go for their normal duties; if they are molested, then labour will know what next to do,” he said, insisting that the laid down procedures of downsizing must be carried out.
The parastatals, agencies and departments affected are Hospital Management Board, Headquarters, Imo Water Corporation, Imo Cattle Markets, Imo Sports Council, Imo State Environmental Transformation Commission, ENTRACO, Imo Marketing Company, Imo Consumer Protection Agency, Imo Tourism Board, Imo Blue Lake of Treasure and Imo State Agency.
Others are the Imo Job Centre, Imo Water Board Development Agency (IWADA), Imo Library Board, Imo Agric Loans Board, Imo Lives-stock, Imo Poverty Alleviation, Imo Agricultural Programme, Imo Pensions Board and Imo Transport Corporation. Some health centres were also affected by the action.