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Imo oil workers protest 80% salary cut

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By Buchi Iwuji (Owerri)

Workers at the Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commissioner ISOPADEC on Tuesday staged protest in front of their office in Owerri to register their disaffection over 80 percent slash in their salaries.

The workers who waved placards with various inscriptions to display their plights, demanded an immediate end to what they called an “outrageous” cut in their monthly salaries.

The enraged workers said that no amount of intimidation and clampdown would stop them from demanding complete payment of their salaries.

The chairman of the oil workers, Comrade Chinedu Awuzie, and his Welfare counterpart, Ifeanyi Adakwa, said, “despite these intimidations by government, ISOPADEC workers will always fight for their right.”

The chairman, Awuzie, disclosed that the slash in their salaries, started in June 2020, when government struck with the new policy.

He said “In their first protest, government arrested 15 of us, including pregnant women and detained them for 35 days in prison custody before court granted them bail. In the second protest, they sacked 108 of us in one fell swoop, alleging employment, irregularities. 

“But this development will not deter us. We continue to ask for our rights. The first protest was on April 7, 2020 and the second one on April 9, 2021.”

Our correspondent gathered that even the board members in ISOPADEC and their aides have not received their allowances and salaries since January, 2021.

When contacted, the spokesperson for the commission, Promise Ekeh, confirmed that ISOPADEC workers’ salaries witnessed a slash but that the managing director, Chief Charles Orie, with the help of the board, was engaging the government in finding lasting solution to the problem.

He said that since the oil workers were not entitled to pension, their demand was justifiable.

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