The management of Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) has forced contract staﬀ of the establishment to abandon their planned protest over their purported sack.
An aﬀected contract staﬀ who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity said the demand for payment of seven months arrears of stipend owed them and rejection of the management plan to cut the stipend by 60 percent, prompted the management to tell them to go home and wait for four months with the excuse that it lacks money to pay them.
The source who had put in eight years in the job, said their planned protest was leaked to IBC management by saboteurs among them which made the management to fortify the premises with security oﬃcials, with the aim to deal with them the way the present government has been dealing with other protesters who demand for the payment of the arrears of salaries, owed them.
“Since this year, we have only been paid January and February stipend, even when we have been working very hard and taking a lot of risk. Sometimes I get to my house by 1 pm. We had series of meetings with the management, when they keep promising to pay us, all to no avail, rather they later told us to go and brainstorm and come up with ideas on how we could be paid, saying that from September, they may not have the money to pay us.
“Just yesterday, they called us and told us that management has given us the option to either write a letter accepting the half payment or those who refused should go home or stay for four months, at the end of which it is expected that things will improve”.
When contacted, the Acting Director General of IBC, Barr Ezekiel Opara conﬁrmed the development which he said came about as a result of the contract staﬀ’s rejection of a slash in their salary as proposed by the management.
“We came up with the idea to cut the stipend, just for four months and try any means possible to pay their outstanding arrears, so we could have a plane ground to continue”.
He said the decision to slash their salary was as a result of the downturn in the company’s revenue, due to the negative economic eﬀects of the Covid 19 but the contract staﬀ who initially agreed to the slash during a meeting with management, later had a private meeting where they decided to reject the proposal and planned to embark on violent protest.
“It was even members of the staﬀ union that got wind of the plan and arranged for security oﬃcials to guard the premises because I was away, where we went for budget defense”. The DG submitted.