By Victor Ahiuma-Young
FOUR years after the sale of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has declared that the privatization has brought more harm than good, to Nigerians.
Addressing leaders of the union at National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Lagos, NUEE’s President, Martin Uzoegwu, told organized labour to continue to fight against privatization because of its negative consequences.
He contended that privatisation was “capitalism” which leads to exploitation of workers. “This is why we must continue to fight against privatisation of our public institutions.”
While explaining NEC meeting offered members the opportunity to brainstorm and evolve strategies on how to deal with the fallout and other issues arisen from the privatization and post privatization of power sector.
According to him: It is disheartened that after four years of privatization of electricity sector, some of our disengaged colleagues and members who had put in so many years in service to their father land are yet to receive their severance and benefits up till this moment from the federal government, for me, that is corruption, wickedness and man inhumanity to man.
Privatisation in capitalism, it leads to exploitation of privatized workers. It leads to causualisation of workers. This is why we must continue to fight against privatisation of our public institutions. This undeniably calls for the overhauls of our strategies to strengthen us for an integrative perspective in the industrial revolution. We note the need for genuine focus in the direction of the promotion and the effective utilization of our capacity in the entire idea of ensuring a sustainable development of our union model.
The right to strike is fundamental human right enshrined in international labour organisation.
Therefore, we need to strategize on how to influence and deal with government and investors in the power sector. We need to organize a strong collective bargaining and social dialogue with our employers in the power sector. We need to re-organise to expand our membership for sustainable growth. We need to improve in our finance and transparency.
We need to fight for our economic security and social justice.
In a solidarity message, Mr Didi Adodo, General Secretary, United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, said it was regrettable that even workers still in service were not paid their salaries.
Adodo advised workers in the states that had not been paid salaries to review their schedule and ensure that if after 30 or 31st of each month their salaries are not paid, they should stop going to work.
He urged workers to vote for genuine leaders in the 2019 election and ensure that those who have refused to pay workers are voted out.