by Victor Ahiuma-Young
SINCE the takeover of the generation and distribution of power supply in November 2013 by the private individuals otherwise known as generation companies, GENCOs and Distribution companies, DISCOs, some of them have been having running battles with Organised Labour over right to freedom of association, conditions of service, and other unfair Labour practices including perceived indiscriminate layoffs.
In the last five years, electricity workers led by the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, have confronted some of them more than once to compel them to conform to international best practices and extant Labour Laws.
For Ikeja Electricity, I.E, or Ikeja DISCO, between 2016 and 2018, NUEE and its ally unions, have assaulted the firm over alleged unfair Labour practices.
The latest one which resulted to the picketing of its head office and crippling of its activities for about three days recently may not be the last if the terms of agreement reached by the management of IE and leaders of NUEE are not adhered to.
Terms of agreement
Following the latest Labour action between August 8 and 10, at a meeting of both parties at the instance of the management, 10 point agreement including that “management would reconvene the committee on conditions of service on Wednesday, August 15, 2018( yesterday).The two parties are to make concerted effort to conclude discussion on the document one month from the date of this meeting; in case of the sacked 233 staff in 2016 : Ikeja Electric Management agreed to conclude the review of their case within 2 weeks from today; in the case of sacked 5 and 41 in 2017 and 2018 respectively, it was agreed that Ikeja Electric will confirm the position of the union from the Federal Ministry of Labour on its intervention and take appropriate action aimed at reviewing the cases accordingly.
“Transfer of Lagos State chairman, NUEE: management agreed to review the issue. This is based on the understanding of the two parties on the Procedural Agreement. Ikeja Electric promised to promote high safety standard always. Notwithstanding any court case, the management/union agreed that it shall continue to engage towards resolving all matters amicably.
“Union observed that management officials interfacing between the two parties were responsible for breakdown of communication which has led to the picketing. However, both management and union agreed to work towards having harmonious understanding and working relationship between the parties henceforth. The parties agreed that no staff will be penalised or victimised arising from his participation in the picketing action. The meeting agreed to reconvene at the end of 2 weeks for a holistic review of the above issues and move the relationship forward.”