Unions, Discos reach deal on conditions of service
The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) and the Distribution Companies (DISCOS) have jointly signed a document spelling out the conditions of service.
The agreement, which is coming seven years after privatisation of the power sector, was signed at the premises of Ikeja Electric, Lagos.
The agreement, The Guardian gathered, had strengthened the relationship between the distribution companies and the workers.
President of the NUEE, Martin Uzoegwu, who said the conditions were actionable by law, noted that the areas covered in the contract have to do with discipline, management responsibility towards the staff in terms of welfare, benefits to the workers, the rights of the workers and their responsibility to the companies.
According to Uzoegwu “Before now, the employees were tagged illegal, because there was no contract to show the commitment between the employer and the employee. But we have signed the contract and that means we have all agreed on certain conditions and that is what is called the condition of service.”
Also, the General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero, said the management of the DISCOS had resisted the drafting of the conditions of service for workers for years, resulting in picketing, strikes and court cases.
He said the workers now had rules guiding their employment with the management of the DISCOS and that nobody could just wake up and terminate an employee’s appointment without following the laid down procedures.
Ajaero said: “Before now, if a worker is being asked to go, they were not entitled to anything but today, it is clearly stated that if a worker is sent away, he is entitled to a lot of compensations and that is how employment should be.
“After the first six months of privatisation, we have been on the issue and now we have concluded that and given them notice for improved wages.”
The Guardian gathered that the contract was preceded by numerous picketing, industrial actions, and court cases.