Sequel to the announcement made on Saturday by the Imo State Government to increase minimum wage to N10,000, workers in the state have described the plan as fraud.
The workers in their reaction to the planned increment says the move by the state government is deceptive claiming that the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage is yet to be followed to the letter.
The workers disclosed that they have not been paid for 36 months.
Overtnews on Saturday had report that Governor Uzodimma announced a N10,000 increase in the minimum wage to their wage also, workers in the state will get one meal per day and free medical care as part of the palliative measure to cushion the effect of the removal of subsidy on petrol.
Speaking to our correspondent on condition of anonymity a top leader of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Imo State chapter, expressed disappointment with Uzodimma’s treatment of Imo workers and urged Imolites to discountenance the purported wage increase as another attempt at ridiculing workers in Imo State.
“It is ridiculous that while thousands of Imo workers are yet to receive their salaries in the past 36 months and while this regime in Imo State is yet to implement the 30,000 Naira Minimum wage approved by the federal government more than five years ago, this governor is quick to rush to the television to announce a purported increase in the minimum wage,” he said.
Continuing he said that Imo workers are waiting for the outcome of the ongoing negotiation with by the national leadership of NLC and would align with whatever agreement reached at that level, because according to him; the effect of subsidy removal will affect all workers the same way.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the national leadership of the Nigerian Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress and all affiliate unions are in discussion with the Federal Government over wage increment, and we will not allow ourselves to be waylaid by a governor who has proven over time that he cannot be trusted.
“We expect that if the governor really means well for Imo workers, he would first of all, clear backlog of salaries owed to thousands of our colleagues, who have turned to beggars as a result of nonpayment of their salaries in the last 40 months.
“We also expect that the governor would rather prioritise the payment of the 30,000 Naira minimum wage which was approved by the federal government more than five years ago, and which Imo State is among few States where this has not been implemented.”
The NLC member argued that the Imo governor is unfriendly to Imo workers and treats them very unfairly, but wants to use them to win his reelection bid. He warned that no amount of deceptive antics will earn the APC another chance at the Imo State government house.
“Imo workers have suffered enough, we have been ridiculed enough. We have been beaten up, flogged and deprived of our legitimate rights and entitlements by the Uzodimma administration, yet he is coming around now to offer us a Greek gift in order to lure us into supporting his second term ambition.
“We have decided that this will not happen. Uzodimma was an error and majority of Imo workers have taken a decision to stop him from continuing a day beyond January 14th 2024. We cannot reinforce illegitimacy, insensitivity and insincerity. Uzodimma has been insincere to us and Imo workers will do everything to pay him back in his own coin”.
On the promise by the governor to give workers one meal per day, he described it as; “a height of insult and an evidence of the poor thinking within the government.”
“How would a government in this 21st century be thinking of such unintelligent idea? Who will cook this food? How will it be prepared and what is its aim? I think they are merely looking for other ways to steal money from Imo commonwealth and settle some of their cronies. Imo workers are not interested in accepting any poisoned food from him. What we ask for is our legitimate entitlements. Each of us can cook in our houses and eat to our full, if we are paid a living wage.”