The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Imo State chapter, has given reasons why it has embarked on strike action even as it has alleged about threat to the lives of its officials following attack on the state office.
Workers of the state after a fourteen- day warning strike began a full scale down of tools on Monday.
The state secretariat and other government offices didn’t witness enough staff as workers deserted offices in Imo State.
Explaining reasons behind their strike action, NLC chairman in Imo State, Comrade Austin Chulakpu explained that the labour has nothing against the state government other than non payment of worker’s salaries and that of pensioners too.
Speaking further, the labour leaders said that NLC has had not less than 20 meetings with the Uzodinma led administration, yet not less than 17, 000 workers and pensioners have not been paid after verification.
According to him, contrary to claims that no workers is owed, Imo State Government is owing workers and pensioners.
“Recall that government said it would publish names of workers on its payroll. When this was done, and published, NLC checked and discovered that names of eligible workers and pensioners were omitted. After verification and checks, it was discovered that not less than 17,000 workers and 4,000 pensioners are left out.
“Our problem with government is that we complained about the civil servants and pensioners not captured in the arrangement. If we had kept quiet and allowed government to forget the 17,000 people, there wouldn’t have been any problem with NLC. But we can’t abandon genuine workers and pensioners to be left out”
Comrade Chilakpu also went further to confirm the invasion of the state secretariat of NLC and destruction of items in their building by suspected thugs while policemen allegedly kept watch.
“We were scheduled for a crucial meeting today concerning the strike. But early this morning, armed security men had surrounded our building and before their eyes about 20 suspected hired thugs stormed our secretariat to vandalize items.
“They are after our lives because they are after us. Police is still at the location.
Trumpeta learnt that the inability of NLC to pipe down on the reported unpaid 17,000 workers and pensioners have pitched its leadership against the state government.
On Monday, this newspaper noticed that the entrance to the secretariat was broken into and items vandalized in the process.
“What we have been experiencing in the hands of Uzodinma administration has been threat. Instead of looking at what we have brought as complaints, they responses have been threat upon threat. You can hear the kinds of words used to describe us by the governor. Just because we pointed out about genuine workers government didn’t consider in their payment list.
“We have reported these developments to the national body”, Chilakpu added.
Items including office items were especially vandalized.