From Uche Usim, Abuja
Management of Abia Line Network Company Limited and some of its Abuja office staff are currently at daggers drawn over issues bordering on redeployment, unpaid salary arrears, outstanding transfer allowance and other matters.
While the workers see the management’s action as high-handed and insensitive, the transport company’s handlers on their part see the development as a normal routine practice that should not upset the tranquil setting of the company, even as they said the matter was being handled in-house.
However, in a protest letter to Daily Sun entitled: “Notice of victimisation through illegal redeployment in Abia Line,” dated February 22 and signed by seven workers, led by Stella Okeke, the aggrieved staff described themselves as starving personnel of a state-owned transport company.
They also identified themselves as victims of an alleged corporate witch-hunt orchestrated by the General Manager, K. O. Mgbeahuru.
According to them, some workers received their redeployment notice on February 19 and 22 without the accompanying transfer allowance.
“As a result, the general manager, through the Branch Supervisor, Goodluck Chinemeze, on February 21 and 22, used armed security personnel to pressurise the affected staff to vacate the office premises of the Abuja branch with immediate effect and without necessary requirement of transfers.
“We demand payment of 30 months salary arrears; payment of transfers allowances, payment of hazard allowances, payment of accommodation allowances, demand of evidence of tax payment of each staff, enquiry into constant use of armed security personnel in civil issues against the civil service rules and demand of evidence of pension of each staff from inception,” they said.
Reacting to Daily Sun’s enquiry on the matter, the Commissioner for Information, Abia State, John Kalu, forwarded Mgbeahuru’s position on the redeployment via WhatsApp.
It reads: “It affects all staff and currently, more than 32 are involved within all loading bays in Nigeria. Those affected have stayed in those station for more than five years…”
“All others have assumed duties in their new posts but few of them in Abuja resorted to blocking the loading bay and disturbing the operations of the company, including molesting the supervisor. It is important to note that management took the decision in a meeting not the general manager’s. Already management is handling the matter,” he said.