TUC pickets TCN over alleged anti-labour policies, seeks MD’s removal
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday picketed management of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) in Enugu and Lagos states over alleged anti-labour policies and activities capable of derailing its smooth operations.
Members of the union, led by its state Chairman, Chukwuma Igbokwe, had stormed the company’s office at 7.30am carrying placards and demanding immediate removal of Managing Director of the TCN, Mallam U. G. Mohammed.
They stated that the country’s forefathers established the former National Electric Power Authority (NEPA), Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and TCN to bring development, regretting however, that incompetence has derailed the process.
Addressing the rally, he accused the management of the TCN of turning the workforce into slaves by withholding their entitlements and monthly check off dues, stressing that workers at the company were sacked randomly.
He stated that the level of corruption under the Mohammed’s management has continued to deny Nigerians adequate supply of electricity, alleging that the whereabouts of 735 containers cleared from the ports some weeks ago was still unknown.
Igbokwe said the national union had written severally to TCN’s management with a view to reconciling the differences, but regretted that it had not received any response.
“We want to caution that this is the beginning of what is to come. After this picketing, we will launch a full-scale action against the management and this will affect every other sector of the economy. We will mobilise all workers for a strike and we shall see what will happen.
“We urge President Mohammadu Buhari to urgently remove Mohammed from office because he has shown gross incompetence in the discharge of his duties. Buhari should appoint someone else who has the capacity to run the place,” he stated.
Efforts by a team of police officers from New Haven and Abakpa Police stations to stop the protest were rebuffed, as the workers scaled the security vehicles used to block the entrance to the company’s premises.
Besides, the TUC picketed the TCN in Lagos over alleged diversion of check-off dues of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC).
It accused Mohammed of mismanagement of funds and threats to sack some of the workers, adding that it took the decision to picket TCN offices across the country after the union tried unsuccessfully to resolve issues between the SSAEAC and TCN.
Led by the Lagos Secretary of the Lagos, Kazeem Labaike, the union urged President Buhari to call Mohammed to order, threatening to shut down the nation’s power system if nothing was done to resolve the issues.
Meanwhile, TCN’s headquarters in Abuja yesterday came under heavy security of the Nigerian Police and Army, as workers boycotted planned picketing by the TUC.