Over two thousand street sweepers under the Enugu State Ministry of Environment have staged a peaceful protest to demand payment of their seven months salary arrears. They are also demanding for increment of their present salary of about seven thousand, nine hundred naira.
The workers said they had exhausted all possible avenues including meeting the Commissioner in charge of the Ministry, but regretted that nothing positive had been done so far.
‘’We are asking for our salary they are owing us.’’
‘’What they are owing us without ₦20.00 they won’t give the ₦8000.00.’’
‘’They are paying us ₦7,820.00.’’
They appealed to the authorities concerned to attend to their matter urgently considering their present work load and the economic situation in the country. Reacting to the development, the Managing Director, Enugu State Waste Management Authority, Chief Amaka Anajemba who said the authority would look into their request emphasised that the agency had paid them their salaries in the past four months since they were transferred to it.
‘’Government gives us 1.6million naira and we pay them quickly. We don’t waste time because we know majority of them are mothers, family people, so we pay them.’’
When contacted, the State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Fidel Ayogu who claimed that the debt was inherited, advised the protesters to go through a proper channel.
‘’As the Commissioner I tell you now that I am not aware they are being owed. If they are being owed let me know the months so that they can be pursued from that side or this side. They should avail themselves all friendly approved or all conventional approach before they go on protest.’’
Some of the protesters who were mainly mothers, carried placards which read “work like elephant and eat like an ant”, “every year, Obi is a boy” and “we have served for ten years without increment”.