By Egufe Yafugborhi
WARRI—WORKERS of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, yesterday, shut down the headquarters of the commission in Warri over non-payment of end-of-year bonuses and other allowances by the commission.
The protesters in their hundreds, barricaded the gate to the commission, chanted solidarity songs and disrupted business activities.
They displayed placards with various inscriptions such as, ”Gov. Okowa, pay attention to DESOPADEC Staff Welfare”, “Pay Pensioners their money” “Okowa, Where is our 13th month bonus?”, among others.
One of the protesters, Mr. Darlington Erhijakpor, said the DESOPADEC staff and pensioners were being owed salaries and gratuities.
“We don’t know where our pension goes to after they deduct our monies at the end of every month.
“The 13-point bonus that we used to get at the end of every year was not paid to us,” he said.
Responding, the Managing Director of the Commission, Williams Makinde, admitted the nonpayment of the End of Year Bonus to the staff.
“The grievances and protest were diversionary attempts to intimidate the management from dealing with stifling staff explosion in DESOPADEC,” he said.
Makinde said that the 13-point bonus the workers were asking for was not incorporated in the 2016 budget.