Electricity Workers Give FG 14-day Ultimatum Over Entitlements

From Timothy Agbor/OSOGBO

The Federal Ministry of Power and its Labour and Productivity counterpart have been given a 14-day ultimatum by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Human and Trade Union Rights Abuses in the Power Sector.

The Osun State Chairman of NUEE, Comrade Adedeji Olajire, gave this ultimatum during a non violent demonstration which was held at the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) National Control Centre, Powerline, Osogbo, Osun State, southwest Nigeria on Monday.

Speaking through a press statement signed by the National President of NUEE, Mansir Musa and the Secretary, Joe Ajaero, Olajire disclosed that all collective agreements entered into by the union with the government in the power sector has been violated lamenting that over 10,000 workers in the power sector have not been paid a dime as their severance entitlement.

The statement further stressed that over 25,000 workers have not received their pension components and over 5,000 workers who retired statutorily are yet to be paid gratuity adding that the death benefit of over 1,000 workers who died in active service are yet to be paid to their families.

According to Olajire, the pension deduction and entitlements of about 48,000 workers between July 2012 till date have not been effected, and that over 50 percent of the workers have been wrongly and illegally disengaged.

He affirmed that 3,000 verified casual staff were verbally sent out of the industry without remuneration, thereby leading to the abuse of union rights with impunity, as deduction of union dues without remittance has become the norm.

Olajire hinted that all efffort made to address the various issues by the relevant ministries and agencies of the Federal Government met a brick wall, despite repeated assurances by President Goodluck Jonathan and the Minister of Power that there would be no hand over until the resolution of all labour issues.

He noted that two months after the handover, the issues remain unsolved.

He categorically quoted that the violations of agreement by the Federal Government constitute violations of ILO Convention 87, Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution as well as the Labour CAP 198, Section a(6), (a) and (b).

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