Workers in Imo state recently disengaged by the state government in a radio announcement have been directed by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to ignore the order and report at their duty posts as usual.
Three days after the Imo State Government suspended and stopped salaries of workers in 19 state-owned parastatals, agencies and departments through radio announcements, state Chairman of NLC, Mr. Austin Chilapku, has faulted the action stressing that it negates the principle of due process.
The state government had, in several radio announcements signed by the Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Jude Ejiogu, suspended the workers beginning from January 14, 2016, adding that they would be informed of any further re-engagement plans.
They 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 statement said the parastatals were not yielding revenue, but had incurred huge expenditure for government. Governor Rochas Okorocha stressed that concessioning the affected agencies could open opportunities for re-engaging the affected workers.
But Chilapku said: “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 insisted that the laid down procedures of downsizing must be followed through.
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.
Ironically, Governor Okorocha, had before traveling out of the country, assured the national leadership of the NLC, led by their President, Ayuba Wabba, in a meeting in Owerri, that he would not ‘sack, retire prematurely or cut salaries indiscriminately. He also denied planning to implement alleged anti-labour policies. (Daily Times)