Governor Rochas Okorocha quickly reached a truce with the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday as workers shut down Imo State. The Governor in a swift action, recalled all suspended workers.
The governor directed the workers sacked from the 19 parastatals to immediately return back to work. His action ended the strike embarked upon by the civil servants.
NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, read the resolutions reached between the two parties, where the over 3,000 workers suspended last month without pay, were reinstated.
He said that the Committee on Joint Government/Labour Negotiation in Imo State resolved thus: “The immediate recall of all suspended workers of Imo State, notwithstanding that the parastatals in the opinion of government should be more productive.
“That the gross revenue of government from all sources will henceforth be verified every month by the joint committee.
“That government will retain and run all its affairs with not more than 30 percent of the verified revenue for the month, while the committee will apply the balance of 70 percent in the settlement of salaries of public servants and pensioners.”
The agreements further reads: “Negotiations will continue with a view to fully accessing the wage bill of every ministry, department, and agency, and to determine the funding modalities of parastatals within the agreed percentage sharing framework.
“Quarterly, the critical areas shall be reviewed, and ensure compliance and all revenue subheads for the month shall be fully disclosed by the office of the Accountant-General to the select committee of labour.
“And that no public servant will be victimised in any way as a result of the actions leading up to the dispute and resolutions.”
Before the deal was reached, members of the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) had brought Owerri to a standstill to press home their demands.
They locked the Owerri Airport, forced banks to close, and poured invectives on Governor Okorocha for suspending the workers.
Wabba and the State Chairman of the NLC, Comrade Austin Chilakpu and hundreds of workers clad in red and black attires, with their NLC flags, grounded Owerri for hours with no vehicular movement.
All economic and social activities were also brought to a halt.
Others in attendance were labour chairmen and leaders from the other 35 states of the federation.
In their position paper distributed to newsmen tagged “Our Grouse With Okorocha” by the NLC and TUC, the workers said inflation in Nigeria is currently at double digits, making cost of living expensive, resulting in basic amenities going beyond the reach of the poor, saying employment is threatening the peace and development of the country, while those currently employed are barely managing to make ends meet.
The agreement was signed by Emeh Ikenna, Special Adviser (Technical) to the Governor, Princess Alma Eluwa, Solicitor-General of Imo State, Eze Samuel Ohiri, Chairman Imo Council of Traditional Rulers, Bishop Stanford Nwaogu, Chairman, Imo State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Austin Chilakpu, Imo NLC Chairman and Imo NLC Secretary, Ken Onwuemodo.