Workers of Imo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (ISOPADEC) on Tuesday in Owerri staged a protest rally over 80 percent cut in their salaries.
The workers who bore placards with various inscriptions to depict their plight demanded an immediate stoppage of the “outrageous” cut in their monthly salaries.
The enraged workers said that no amount of intimidation and clampdown would stop them from demanding payment of their full salaries.
The chairman of the workers, Chinedu Awuzie, and Welfare Officer, Ifeanyi Adakwa said despite intimidation by the government, they will always fight for their right.
Awuzie disclosed that the slash in their salaries, started in June 2020.
He said, “In our first protest, the 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, the government sacked 108 of us in a swoop, alleging employment irregularities. But this development will not deter us. We continue to ask for our right. 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 had not received their allowances and salaries since January, 2021.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Commission, Promise Ekeh, confirmed that ISOPADEC workers salaries witnessed slash, but that the Managing Director, Chief Charles Orie, with the help of the board was engaging the government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He said that since the oil workers were not entitled to pension, their demand was justifiable.