By Tony Edike
ENUGU – WORKERS of the Enugu State Transport Company Limited, ENTRACO have appealed to Governor Sullivan Chime to consider the plight of their families and pay the 19 months salary arrears and 12 years leave allowances.
The 95 workers who lamented that four of their colleagues have died due to the hardship caused by unpaid salaries, urged the governor to pay their benefits without delay.
Representatives of the workers told Vanguard in Enugu that efforts to get the outstanding salaries paid yielded no positive result as the supervisory Ministry of Transport had since abandoned them.
Speaking on behalf of the workers, Mr Marcel Aneke disclosed that ENTRACO, which is a state-owned parastatal under the Transport Ministry, has suffered neglect in the past two years.
He said the company has not received new buses for a long time while only two of the old ones were functional, lamenting that even when the state government procured several commuter buses, the company was not given any.
According to him, majority of the buses with the inscription of the company belong to private individuals who only pay commission to the company for supervising the buses.
Aneke stated that the company hardly generate revenue to pay the workers hence the salary arrears has made life difficult for workers and their families.
Apart from the outstanding salaries, Aneke disclosed that workers’ leave allowances have not been paid since 1999.
He said: ”We have continued to cry out to the Sullivan Chime administration to rescue us and our dependents from hardship imposed on us for almost two years now but nothing meaningful has been done. Our members are dying. In fact, we have lost four staff due to their inability to pay medical bills. Our children are out of school and we are facing terrible hardship.
”If the government does not want the company to continue, they should pay us our entitlements and shut it down rather than keeping us waiting endlessly and accumulating huge debts.”