Friday, May 10, 2013

Okorocha to sack heads of parasatals. Why I Romance Govt, Says NLC Chairman, Anyadike .As Workers State Grievances Against Okorocha .Why We Are On Strike – Imo Workers

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A holocaust is about sweeping non -productive government agencies in Imo State as the state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has threatened to sack and relieve the appointments of heads of parastatals in the state.

Addressing heads of parasatals and workers in Imo establishments yesterday, at the Ahiajoku Centre, Owerri, over workers’ strike, the state Governor said that the problem in several parastatals are not from civil servants but from those at the helm of affairs who are not business – oriented adding that he would take over affairs of parasatals as overall manager except in case where the bosses have shown proof to cater for their respective parastatals.

Speaking, Okorocha said that the commissioners for Health, Agriculture and Chief of staff to the Governor will form a committee to pay outstanding salaries to the parasatals as he has made the approval for payment adding that most workers should not complain about any new designations the will be assigned to in the emerging scenario.

Reacting over the Governor’s new approach to the lingering labour issues, JNC leader in the state, Comrade Coleman Okwara described Okorocha’s new twist as wasted efforts that would not produce positive result.

According to Coleman “it is unfortunate that Okorocha wants to use shortcuts to settle the impasse. He is just worsening the matter. His efforts are anti-labour and an attempt to jump gun. The people he called are our members. The strike will continue since he is using the backdoor to solve the problem. The labour is an organized body that no government would use subterranean means to scuttle its struggle for workers liberation”.

Out of favour, Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Reginald Anyadike has disclosed that his rosy relationship with the present administration is for the good of Imo workers.

Comrade Anyadike has been at the receiving end of workers backlash who defied his utterances to embark on a strike action this week. The aggrieved civil servants went ahead to throw shouts of “Holy Ghost Fire, Holy Ghost Fire, at him when he alongside the Head of Service of Imo State, Mrs Nkechi Onumajulu came to address them at the State Secretariat on Wednesday.

Speaking during a radio programme in the state moments after addressing the workers at the Secretariat, Comrade Anyadike urged workers not to misconstrue his relationship with key actors in the present government as he is exploiting an avenue to better the lot of Imo workers.

Comrade Anyadike in the Imo State Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) Radio programme anchored by Government House Comedian and popular entertainer, Uche Ogbuagu disclosed that contrary to popular views making the rounds, he cannot disappoint the workers as he has used the opportunity to intimate government of their grievances.

According to the NLC boss, “the issue of coming close to people in government is a personal thing. It has to do with my personal friendship with those in power. They are my personal friends before now and have continued. And there is nothing wrong, if I continue my relationship with them as a labour leader. I have a personal relationship with the Deputy Governor. It does not affect my role as labour leader. Rather, I have even used my friendship with those in government to get something for the labour unions in the state.

“There is nothing like settlement or graft. If I do something and they willingly give me, I will chop, but I will not demand for anything because it is against my wish and life. My salary is sufficient for me and my wants. I don’t live extravagant life to do certain things that are unexpected of me”.

On the raging strike action by the state work force which may have balkanized labour leaders in the state, Anyadike disclosed that he is not against using strike action to demand for better welfare but labour has a constitution and act which the leaders “Must not abuse or go beyond the limit of their powers.

“I will not support Government of the day to suppress labour and workers demand but normal procedures should follow in trade dispute. We are having meeting to resolve the problems arising from the dispute. I am also asking Government to look into workers’ complaints and solve them as the case may be. Workers should also know that no government can solve labour problems in one day”.

While expressing that the State Governor has constituently stated that he hasaraldite hand, Anyadike stated that Government is not all about embarking on capital projects, other issues like workers welfare and grievances also count.

Amidst the carrot and stick being dangled before Imo workers overtly and covertly to call off the strike and return to their duty posts by the Rescue Mission government, the strike action which began on Tuesday May 7th entered its third day yesterday Thursday 9th May, 2013.

The State Public Service Negotiating Council (Trade Union Side) Imo State Bulletin 3, captioned IS TRUE, YES IT IS TRUE released in Owerri yesterday stated that the industrial action would continue sine die.

It noted that the man who signed for TUC is now the principal secretary to the deputy governor now on the government side and therefore no longer the Chairman of TUC stressing that the acting Chairman has stepped into his shoes.

The release regretted that the advice to the governor portrays him as an illiterate whereas; the governor is a very intelligent and first class product while people are trying to use workers to merit political appointments.

It further reiterates that the Joint Negotiating Council is not an affiliate of either NLC or TUC but an independent body saddled with the responsibilities of negotiating for the working conditions of workers in the public service. For these reasons, the JNC cannot and will not take instruction from any body before proceeding on any strike action in the state or at the federal level.

Emphasizing that the JNC came into being in 1945 in place of the Whitely Council as against NLC and TUC in 1978 and 2005 respectively, the release pointed out that by Labour Law, NLC and TUC in Nigeria can not go on strike without the approval and awareness of JNC as NLC is not a striking body by law.

It further explained that what the JNC is fighting for is the interest of the entire Imo workers and called for their understanding so that workers can regain their rights and freedom.

The statement warned that no worker should be scared by the intimidating announcements and orders from the government and its agents.

Aware that what is happening in the state is high level of sabotage, the release noted that no weapon, no intimidation can vanquish the people when they have resolved to win back their rights.

Finally, it expressed joy that workers of the state have extended co-operation to the leadership of JNC which has promised not to disappoint the entire Imo workers.
Meanwhile, even the permanent Secretaries who had earlier threatened staff of their ministries if they failed to report for duties today could not enter their offices which are under lock and key.

In one of the ministries, some irate tore into shreds, sheets of paper which their permanent secretary gave them for attendance sheets. Source: Imotrumpeta