By Bose Adelaja
LAGOS—AGGRIEVED workers, under the aegis of National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, and other allied unions in the power sector, yesterday, picketed the Egbin Thermal Power Station, over unfair labour practices.
Egbin Power Plc, has an installed capacity of 1,320 WW consisting of 6 units of 220MW each.
The aggrieved workers, who stormed the Ikorodu power plant, as early as 7am, barricaded the main entrance of the Thermal Power Station, shutting it from outside world.
The General Secretary of NUEE and President of United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, Joe Ajaero, informed that the grievances included that ‘’Egbin Power Plc has refused to have conditions of service that enjoy joint authorship with the workers, the company has refused unionization of workers in the work place, refusal of the company to hand over schools built by workers, illegal taking over of staff quarters, clinic, staff clubs and other non-core assets and land grabbing activities in Egbin and Ijede Towns.”
According to Ajaero, others included that the management of Egbin must “realize that electricity supply is a right and not a privilege, Nigerians are tired of paying for darkness, to repair the roof of workers’ quarters which was destroyed, to realize that workers have the right to associate in the work place and obeying extant Labour Laws.”
The protesting workers chanted solidarity songs and displayed placards with several inscriptions to drive home their demands, defying the heavy down pour.
However, at about 10.30am, a team of Nigeria Police from Area N, led by the Area Commander, ACP Muhamed Amadu pleaded with the aggrieved workers to suspend their action.
The Police mounted an Armoured Personnel Carrier, APC, close to the scene.
But the workers insisted they would not vacate the scene until all their grievances were addressed.
As at the time of filing this report, the workers were still bent on their demand as residents and indigenes of Egbin and Ijede joined the protests complaining of high handedness, land grabbing activities, forceful encroachment on their properties, and humiliation on the part of the management of the company.