By AFAM Echi
There are strong indications that all may not be well in the relationship between the members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in the state and the state ministry of transport.
This followed the sack of 25,000 workers of the transport union in the state. The exit of the workers had attracted the intervention of the state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Austin Chilakpu who visited the Imo Commissioner for Transport, Barr Rex Anunobi following protest from NURTW.
In a volte-face, the Park Manager Mr, Ifeanyi Okafor has denied the sack while the officials of the transport union led by Comrade Izuchukwu Okebaram also known as Bora insists the Park Manager sacked the workers and chased them away from their bit.
According to them, ‘’the newly appointed Park Manager, Chief Ifeanyi Okafor of Lasbergers Nig, Ltd has been going about various parks in the state with armed policemen harassing and chasing away our members from various parks replacing them with contractors and his cohorts whom he collected huge sums of money to displace from their legitimate duty post.’’
The action of the Park Manager even with the denial may have sent wrong signals to the state and heightened tension amidst the high level of unemployment. The situation is not further helped by the present Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the globe as at present.
Speaking to Edge Express some of the affected workers who spoke under a condition of anonymity wondered why they should be thrown away from the job at this critical period. One of them who gave his name as Ike queried, is the government not supposed to be creating jobs at this moment instead of relieving people of jobs.
The transport workers who are known for their peculiar behavior in reacting to welfare issues ordinarily are suspected may not come to terms with the government actions. They are seeking ways to be heard and given attention.
It is believed that the intervention and interface between the NLC and the state government might bring a rapprochement and if not handled properly might snowball into something unwanted by all the stakeholders. Tongues are already wagging that the poor economy of the state already hunted by the unpaid salary of workers may get more pressure with the strong 25,000 people thrown out of a job.