August 16, 2022

Electricity workers’ strike: You‘ve end of today to stop action, Labour tells Minister


By Victor Ahiuma-Young

THE Organized Labour in the nation’s Power sector has given the Minister of State for Power, Goddy Jedy-Agba and the management of Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN, up till Wednsday to address their demands or workers would commence indefinite strike from as planned.

This followed the appeal to leaders of the organized Labour in the industry under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, to shelve the workers’ strike scheduled to start today and give him two weeks to address their grievances.

The Union is protesting the directive by “the TCN Board that all Principal Managers, PMs, in acting capacity going to Assistant General Managers, AGM, must appear for a promotion interview. This directive is in contravention of our Conditions of Service and Career Progression Paths, and unilaterally done without the relevant Stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, the TCN has announced the suspension of the planned promotional interview which triggered the Union’s reaction.

Sequel to Monday’s directive by leaders of NUEE to workers to begin an indefinite strike from today over unresolved industrial issues, the Minister of State for Power had pleaded with the leaders of the workers to shelve the planned strike and sought for two weeks to resolve the pending issues.

The Minister in a letter to NUEE’s General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, dated August 15, 2022, among others, said “The Ministry of Power takes cognizance of your complaints therein and a committed to proffering solutions that will be acceptable to all parties concerned.

“May we appeal to your great union to allow us two weeks from the date of this letter to address the issues and come up with proposals toward an acceptable resolution of all issues.”

Similarly, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Official, MD/CEO, of TCN, S.A Abdulaziz, in a letter to the NUEE’s General Secretary, dated August 15, 2022, among others, said “We are pleased to inform you that management has suspended the said proposed interview for those on the acting appointment of assistant general managers and general managers while we conclude the discussion with the board.

On the other issues: Circular from the office of Head of Service on Stigmatization of the defunct PHCN staff and Payment of entitlement of ex-PHCN staff by Market Operator, The management has contacted the Honourable Minister of Power for his further actions.

“In view of this development, we appeal to your union to stay in action.”

But responding, NUEE in a letter dated August 16, 2022, by its Scribe, among others, told the Minister and the managing Director\Chief Executive Officer, MD\CEO, “It is disheartening that an agreement reached with the union as a result of the intervention from your esteemed office almost three years down the line has not been implemented. Unfortunately, the issues raised and not addressed have relapsed/metamorphosed as part of the causes of the industrial unrest in the sector.

“On the stigmatization of staff from the office of the |Head of Service of the Federation from working in other areas in the power sector, we are not sure you are speaking for the Head of Service after memos addressed to that office several months ago have gone without any acknowledgement.

On the issues affecting violation/contravention of TCN’s Condition of Service by the TCN board, the management has only written by proxy for the board.

Premised on the foregoing, we may be constrained to continue with this action by Wednesday 17th August 2022 with a total withdrawal of services. However, the union is still open to decisive discussions with relevant actors; with a view to proffering solutions to the issues raised and averting the total collapse of the sector.”