By Chinonso Alozie, Owerri
Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, yesterday, succumbed to the pressure from workers in the state, to enter into a fresh agreement with the workers against the 70/30 payment of salaries in the state.
It was like a drama, irrespective of the low turn out at the Heroes square, venue of this year’s workers day, while the governor was delivering his speech the workers were agitating.
Okorocha who could not control the level of agitation, asked the workers several questions which bordered on their welfare.
However, concluded that the end to “the level of suffering of workers in the state will be solved by entering into a new agreement to see how the workers will start receiving 100 percent of their salaries.
“I say this because the 70 percent for workers and 30 percent for government based on the allocation coming to the State is not favouring the workers.”
“I will also lift ban on promotion because there are so many vacancies in the the ministry. Let me also tell you that we are employing 3,200 workers to join the civil servants job.”
But Okorocha insisted that ” any government establishment making money should be able to pay themselves.”
Earlier in his speech, the Imo state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Austin Chilakpu, among other issues said:” The Imo workers gathered here today are highly expectant from the governor for the restoration of 100 percent salary to all categories of workers.
“It would be be recalled that since January 2016, the Imo workers have received between 70-80 salaries. This they have done as part of the sacrifice to cushion the effects of the economic recession.
“The National economy has made good improvements in recent times, steering it away from the recession. It is our expectation that these improvements would reflect on the lot of the workers.
“It has been the position of labour that sacking or suspension of workers, and cutting or non-payment of pensioners is not part of the solution to the economic recession.”
Chilakpu also punctured the position of the government that it has paid workers in the state up to date.