How 150 Anambra workers died of frustration, by union


The striking workers.

How 150 Anambra workers died of frustration

  • AUPCTRE pickets bank over N1.7b unpaid salaries

By Okey Maduforo, Awka

No fewer than 150 employees of the Anambra State Water Corporation and Anambra State Environmental Protection Agency have  died of frustration caused by non-payment of their salaries by their employers.

Their salaries were withheld since 2012 despite a court pronouncement compelling three commercial banks to pay them.

Consequently, the members of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Service Employees (AUPCTRE) on April 13, 2022, cripled banking activities at the Headquarters of the Fidelity Bank in Awka Anambra State by blocking the entrance.

The protest, which took almost the whole day, made it difficult for customers and even staff to gain entrance into the bank.

On the ensued protest, the state chairman of the union, Comerade Emmanuel Onyejiaka, said that it was national, as members in the 36 states of the federation also embarked on a sympathy protest in support of the workers in Anambra state.

He said, “This matter was taken to the National Industrial Court, which delivered judgement in 2012 that First  bank, First City Monument Bank and Fidelity Bank should pay our workers but they failed to pay us.

“We returned to the same court and the court again ordered that the banks should pay us but only Fisrt Bank and FCMB paid while Fidelity Bank is yet to pay and the bulk of the arrears owed to us is in Fidelity bank totaling N1.7 billion.

“As I speak with you over 150 of our members have died out of frustration and so many are critically ill and do not have money to take care of themselves and some of their children have dropped out of school while homes have been broken.

“As it stands now we shall continue this protest every working day and we shall continue to disturb banking activities at the Fidelity bank until they pay us and I want to also inform you that we have security permits from the state police command before embarking on this protest.”

Onyejiaka also disclosed that the union had written to the newly appointed Head Of Service (HOS), Mrs Theodra Igwegbe, who promised to look into the plight of the workers and report same to Governor Charles Soludo.

He said, “Yes it is not the making of this new administration of Governor Charles Soludo but we know that he would look into the matter and we have written to the new Head Of Service who has promised to work with us and make strong representations for us before the governor.”

When contacted, officials of the Fidelity Bank, Awka, refused to speak with reporters, contending that they were not authorized to do so and directed reporters to contact the branch in Enugu or Abuja.


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