Labour moves against Enugu DISCO, pickets offices
The epileptic power supply situation in the South-East may worsen if organised labour makes good its threat to pull out workers from all zonal offices of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) by next week in protest against alleged anti-worker stance of the utility firm.
Signs that all was not well between the workers and management was manifest yesterday with the picketing of the headquarters of the company in Enugu, causing total blackout in the zone.
Also, unions shutdown the Abakaliki office of the distribution company for labour-related issues, leading to disruption of commercial activities in the Ebonyi State capital.
Thousands of workers drawn from the various unions – United Labour Congress (ULC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) among others – blocked entrances to the utility firm in Enugu as early as 7:00 a.m. with placards carrying various messages.
The Guardian gathered that the present action of the workers was triggered off by the alleged sacking of about 300 of their colleagues two weeks ago.
Led by the president, United Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the workers said the decision to occupy the company headquarters and other outlets in the zone followed the alleged refusal of the management to accede to their various demands bordering on welfare.
Denying the allegations in a statement by its Head of Communications, Emeka Ezeh, the company noted: “EEDC embarked on a restructuring exercise last year. This was brought to the attention of representatives of the union at some of our sessions last year. After this exercise, some job positions were abolished, as they were no longer relevant. Staff were assessed and some of them that could not defend their positions/jobs were eventually disengaged while we also hired additional staff to beef up our technical and customer service team.”