Electricity workers plan strike over non-implementation of agreement, give Federal Government 14-day ultimatum
Seven weeks after the Federal Government failed to implement agreement reached with workers in the electricity sector, they have vowed to resume their suspended strike.
The workers, under the auspices of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), who gave a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, said that if government fails to implement the December 11, 2019 agreement, they would ground the power sector indefinitely.
The General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero, while addressing a press conference yesterday, accused the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba, of harassment and intimidation during the union’s negotiation on challenges affecting workers in the sector. He said if issues are not addressed at the end of the ultimatum, the country should hold the minister responsible for outcome of such action.
Ajaero said that though government agencies had intervened in the matter, but the union has not got any timely implementation of its demands.He said at the centre of the dispute was the non-payment of the entitlements of workers of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) laid off when the company was privatised as well as “short-payment and conditions of service for workers of electricity companies.”
“Because of the nature of the generating companies, where they were sited were excluded from where people were living and the union decided to build schools for the kids of our members in such areas.“The Power Sector Reform Act provides that power stations be handed over to some investors but not the primary schools, which were seized.
“By virtue of the Act, even if there are buildings, it is the Nigeria Electricity Liability Management Company that will take them, not the GenCos.“We have taken this matter up with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in the last six years. On two or three occasions, we have had cause to lock up the office of the BPE and they will tell us that they have cleared up some names waiting for the accountant-general of the federation to pay, but up to this moment nothing has happened.”