Report from the state owned electronic medium “the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) indicate that about 80 contract staff of the parastatal who are being owned outstanding salaries for the past 12 months for which a union leader and a nursing mother of the outfit was recently suspended from work may not get the expected arrears of salaries but rather letters of their sack from the troubled corporation.
Our source disclosed that the management of the corporation instead of giving these category of workers their due salaries or pay off has resorted to arm twisting the workers giving them some difficult options.
Reports from Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), Owerri owners of Orient FM and TV stations, have it that the management has disengaged more than 80 contract staff in their books despite owing some of them up to 12 months salary.
With some contract staff yet to receive their January 2020 payments, the management skipped to March payment with reasons that some of them have received their January and February salaries through advance payments.
Although some members of the group are yet to receive both January and the said March payment, they have been protesting internally, meeting with the management to find the best way to resolve the issue.
According to some members of the group, the management has been unfair to them. One of them while speaking to the press under condition of anonymity said the management is playing a smart game with them by giving them unrealistic options.
After a meeting with the management of the Corporation led by the Acting Director General Barr. Ezekiel Opara, the group revealed that they were verbally sacked without letters.
According to them, the management gave them three options.
One, was to stay off for four months, while the corporations work out the ways to pay them or stay for the four months and receive stipends slashed up by 50% and stay out entirely and never come back, while the corporations work out the ways to pay them.
They revealed that despite receiving the notice verbally, they have been mandated to put whichever options they will be taking in writing.
“I just wonder what the DG who is a lawyer is afraid of. Why didn’t they paste their resolution to sack us on notice board the way they normally do. I feel they are playing a smart one on us. They don’t want to be held responsible for whatever happens in the coming months and that is so funny coming from a corporation like IBC”, one of the contract staff said.
Beyond being owed upto January 2020 salary, another section of the group still has four months dud cheques handed to them during the time of Gov. Rochas Okorocha, bringing the figure to 12 months of nonpayment.
With the management of the corporation at crossroads, being under investigation by a panel set up by Gov. Hope Uzodinma, their hands are tied as they try to increase their Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR) which they use in paying the contract staff.
An insider source has it that the group is planning a protest in coming days and are out to do everything possible to get their money and also secure a place as permanent staff of the corporation which is part of the initial promises that brought everyone to the cadre of contract staff.
Effort to reach the IBC general Manager, Barr Ezekiel Opara for his reaction over the development proved abortive as he didn’t take repeated calls put across to him.
Meanwhile, the nursing mother, Barr Vivian Ottih who was allegedly suspended from Office for asking for her salary is yet to be recalled even as most of the staff still groan in pains.Some have had their property thrown out for failure to pay house rent.