Scores of workers of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) on Tuesday staged a protest in front of its office in Owerri, the state capital over 80 percent slash in their salaries.
The workers, who clutched placards with various inscriptions to depict their plights, 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.
Chairman of the union, Comrade Chinedu Awuzie, accused the state government of intimidating the workers to submission.
He insisted that despite the intimidations by the government, ISOPADEC workers would always fight for their rights.
Awuzie disclosed that the slash in their salaries, started in 2020 when they were hit with the new policy by the state government.
He said “In our first protest, the government arrested 15 of us, including pregnant women and detained them for 35 days in prison custody before the court granted them bail.
“In the second protest, the government sacked 108 of us in one fell swoop, alleging employment irregularities. But this development will not deter us. We continue to ask for our rights,” he said.
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 find a lasting solution to the problem.