Electricity Workers Suspend Strike

By Helen Shok-Jok, Abuja

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Electricity workers in Nigeria have suspended its nationwide industrial action few hours after it commenced.

The workers had plunged the nation into total darkness over its disagreement with the Nigerian government on issues bothering mostly on the welfare of the workers.

A two week notice had be given  to the Government to address  the grievances of the workers which the workers said was not honoured culminating to the switching off of the national grid on Wednesday to get government’s attention.

In a swift response to the downing of tools by the workers, the government responded through the Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige who convened an emergency meeting with the workers in his office in Abuja.

Some of the issues  in contention include according to the leadership of the workers the “stigmatisation of electricity staff by the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, and refusal of the market operators to fund the payment of entitlements of ex-Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN staff as agreed in the December 2019 agreement”.

At the end of the meeting, which lasted about four hours, the Secretary General of National Union of Electricity Emoloyees, NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, agreed to suspend the strike.

He said they would “take a pause on the industrial action and wait for two weeks as agreed at the meeting for the government to address their grievances”.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting, Minister of  Labour and Employment  Dr Ngige said after exhaustive deliberations on the issues in dispute, they agreed to constitute a bipartite committee to look into the grievances of the workers and report back in two weeks.

The members of the bipartite committee include the Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agba (Chairman), Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Permanent Secretary, Office of the  Secretary to Government of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, representative of Bereau of Public Enterprises  BPE, representatives of Nigeria Union Electricity Employees NUEE and Senior Staff Association of ElectricityandAllied Companies SSAEC.

The Minister said the committee has two weeks to report back to the whole house.

Those in attendance at the meeting were the Minister of State, Power, Prince Jeddy Agba; the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ms. Kachollom Daju, mni, Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Sule Ahmed Abdulaziz  and the Chairman of TCN Board, Imamuddeen.


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