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Labour accuses Okorocha of breaching payment pact

By Charles Ogugbuaja, Owerri
20 July 2015   |   11:11 pm
IMO State industrial unions may proceed on indefinite strike this week if their salaries are not paid in full, as leaders of the various unions were said to have met over the weekend in Owerri over Governor Rochas Okorocha’s alleged violation of their July 6 agreement on the full payment of workers’ salaries and arrears.…
Okorocha

Okorocha

IMO State industrial unions may proceed on indefinite strike this week if their salaries are not paid in full, as leaders of the various unions were said to have met over the weekend in Owerri over Governor Rochas Okorocha’s alleged violation of their July 6 agreement on the full payment of workers’ salaries and arrears.

Meanwhile, a few days after a notorious cult leader in Egbu, Owerri North council, Chimobi Iheme, was killed by the police during a gun duel, community leaders have begun moves to re-introduce a vigilance group.

Monarch of the autonomous community, Eze Felix Nwanna Egbukole, and President General of Egbu Town General Assembly, Simon Nkwazema, have disclosed this to journalists at the weekend.

According to Egbukole, the entire community is embarrassed at the presence of the group, which he said has made life unbearable for the dwellers, stressing that the re-introduction of the vigilance group would assist the conventional security operatives in their work.

Also, Nkwazema said that cultism and other social vices in the community have overwhelmed them, adding that such proactive complimentary security measure is the only option.

The unions, under the organised labour umbrella, are the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JPSNC), Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), National Association of General and Dental Practitioners (NAGDP) and Joint Health Sector Unions (JHSU).

They expressed shock and disgust that salaries in several ministries and agencies were cut by 50 per cent in contravention of the Salaries and Wages Commission extant laws. According to them, the governor’s directive for the cuts was at variance with their agreement on July 6.

Consequently, the unions gave him till July 17 to pay the salary arrears (some of which are four months, and pensions, some of which are for six months and others 18 months.

According to an anonymous source, the letter to the governor, titled, “Violation of issues contained in the communiqué between Imo State Government and Organised Labour,” accused the state government of gross insensitivity and of undermining the unions on workers’ issues.

On government’s intention to adopt commercialisation, privatisation and concession, the union urged the government to pay workers’ entitlements before implementing such. In the absence of Okorocha, no government official has reacted on the letter.