• Monday, July 22, 2024
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NLC threatens to ground Imo economy over workers’ sack

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Imo State are headed for a fight as the former has threatened to ground the economy of Imo in protest against the recent purported sack of 3,000 workers in the employ of the state, by Governor Rochas Okorocha.
The union said the state government has 14 days beginning from last Friday to reinstate the workers and pay different categories of Imo public servants who are being owed salary arrears ranging from three to 15 months, or face the anger of Nigerian workers.
Joe Ajaero, factional president of the NLC, joined by Achese Igwe, deputy president and other members of the National Administrative Council (NAC) of the congress, at a news conference, in Lagos, condemned the sack of the workers by the governor without recourse to extant labour laws.
“The penchant for humiliating Nigerian workers by our leaders is becoming sad. It has taken a turn for the worse with an assumed belief that Nigerian workers can no longer defend themselves. The lives of workers and their families are at stake and if the government ignores us, it is to their peril,’’ said Ajaero.
He said that the Imo government led by Rochas Okorocha had earlier denied that it did not plan to sack and 48 hours later, it laid off 3,000 workers.
He said that if the government fails to take any decision at the expiration of the ultimatum, labour would ensure that there would be no electricity supply in Imo in addition to other measures.
“We will ensure that there will be no light, tanker drivers will not supply fuel while shops and banks will not be opened for business,’’ he said.
The factional president said that the congress waited for various negotiations on the issue before wading in and that they would ensure that sanity was restored in the state.
He said that it was wrong for the government to terminate the job of workers over the radio without negotiating with their representatives as required by the law governing redundancy.
He said that his faction does not have to collaborate with any group to fight the cause of workers even if another NLC group had earlier met with the governor.
Ajaero said it was regrettable that the state government was among those who benefited from the bailout funds from the Federal Government and could not pay the workers.
He said it was sad that rather than create more employment, the state government was increasing the number of people in the unemployment market.
He warned that if the government fails to recall the workers, stop intimidating them and pay their salary arrears, the congress would shut the state operation nation-wide.
Achese Igwe, deputy president, also said that it was not right for workers to pay their taxes and dues and also pay for negligence of state government. He said that the workers gave government the political will to govern well through votes, but the leaders had failed to use the votes to develop the nation and improve lives.
He advised the Imo government to recall the workers to avoid any disruption of the state activities. (Additional report by NAN).