Staff Casualised Workers Or Face Industrial Action, NUEE Warns KEDCO

NUEE, KEDCO, Workers, StaffThe National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KEDCO) to confirm the over 2,000 staff under its employment or face industrial disharmony.

Addressing reporters in Kaduna State, the Northwest Zonal Assistant Secretary of the union, Mr Moses Amedu, decried what he called the ‘unfavourable policy and casualisation’ of workers by the company.

He accused the management of Kaduna Electric of deliberately refusing to confirm the workers over 16 months after they were employed, and also laying off some staff without any reason.

Mr Amedu vowed that the union would paralyse activities at the company if the management fails to confirm the workers and recall the sacked ones.

“Kaduna Electric under its watch did not train any of their staff since their appointment in September 2015 till date, and expects them to perform magic.

“Staff are indiscriminately transferred, irrespective of their location or status with no transfer benefit.

“The management is evasive to all labour relationship and do not carry them along in their activities.

“We are hereby giving a one-week ultimatum today, February 2, 2017 to attend to our demands or risk industrial disharmony,” he said.

KEDCO Reacts To Allegations

However, the management of KEDCO reaffirmed the company’s unalloyed respect for both national and international labour laws and conventions.

Reacting to the allegations, the company’s Head of Corporate Communications, Mr Abdulazeez Abdullahi, said that more than 90% of the workers have been confirmed while a negligible percentage that failed to measure up to the basic requirement of the company were laid off.

He explained further that some staff were put on a six months’ probation to give them a chance to improve on their performance.

Mr Abdullahi restated that the company was committed to ensuring harmonious working relations with its staff.

He noted that the management had submitted a draft ‘condition of service’ to the union for its input over a month ago, stressing that the union was yet to revert to the company.

Over 90% Staff Confirmed

“The management followed a rigorous evaluation procedure in assessing its staff, most of whom were confirmed this week.

“More than 90% of the workers have been confirmed while a negligible percentage that failed to measure up to the basic requirement of the company were laid off.

“Also, some staff were put on a six months’ probation to give them a chance to improve their performance.

“And with the confirmation exercise over, the company is poised growth as it will soon unveil a comprehensive training plan to enhance staff skills and productivity.

“The confirmation exercise was delayed because of the tedious nature of the exercise that included a verification of the academic qualifications of its about 3,000 workforce.

“The management has in the spirit of wider consultation, submitted a draft ‘condition of service’ to the electricity workers’ union for its input over a month ago and the union is yet to revert to the company.

“The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had expressed reservation on the outcome of the talent review recently conducted by Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company,” Abdullahi said.

Court Defers Ruling On Suit Filed Against PHCN

Court, PHCNThe National Industrial Court sitting in Akure has ‎adjourned the case filed by the disengaged staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) against the company.

The ruling on the matter was postponed till October 18, 2016, after the court heard from counsels of both parties on Wednesday in Ondo State, southwest Nigeria.

The electricity employees were led by the President of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Ondo ‎State chapter, Clement Daudu.

The staff, numbering 75 were in court to challenge their alleged disengagement since 2013 without following due process and non-payment of their severance packages.

Joined in the suit as second, third and fourth defendants were the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) and the National Electricity Liability Management Company (NELMCO).

Electricity Workers Protest Over Unpaid Severance Packages

Electricity-NUEESome electricity workers under the aegis of NUEE have staged a protest over the non-payment of severance packages of their colleagues by the Transmission Company of Nigeria.

The members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Monday barricaded the gate of the headquarters of the electricity company in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

According to the Senior Assistant General Secretary of NUEE, Cyprian Ndubuisi, at least 3,000 workers of the then Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), who were disengaged before privatisation, have not been paid their severance packages.

The union also barred workers from entering into their offices while they called on the Federal Government to resolve all lingering labour issues concerning their welfare.

Adequate Power Supply Key To Nigeria’s Economic Growth – Sambo

Nigeria’s Vice President, Mr Namadi Sambo, has emphasised the key role of adequate power supply in the pursuit of Nigeria’s economic growth.

At the handover of Shiroro Hydroelectric Station in Shiroro in Niger State, the vice president explained that the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN)  was in line with the government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigerians enjoy steady power supply.

The Nigerian government is pursuing its vision to become one of the top 20 economies in the world by 2020.

Members of the National Council on Privatisation were also at the Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station for the handover of the station to the successor company.

The Chief Executive Officer of the plant, Daudu Abudu Aziz was optimistic that the privatisation of the plant would take it to a greater height.

Contrary to rumours that workers of the PHCN had threatened to down tools on the handover day, both the chairman, National Union of Electricity Employees Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station Chapter (NUEE), Mohammed Nagwa  and the chairman of the Senior Staff Association, Electrical and Allied Companies Hydroelectric Power Station (SSEAC), Mohammed Bankwat, said that the unions allowed the handover ceremony to take place due to the agreement with the Federal Government that all entitlements of the staff would be paid before the end of the month.

They, however, threatened to down tools if the government fails to fulfil its promise.

As the Federal Government hands over the power stations across the country to the successor companies, not a few Nigerians will be hoping that power supply across the country will improve.

PHCN Handover: Workers Gear Up For Industrial Action

The Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, workers are gearing up for a nationwide strike to prevent the planned Federal Government handover on the grounds that their terminal entitlements have not been fully paid.

The National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, has directed its members to withdraw their services from all installations in the event of provocation by armed military personnel.

A statement signed by the Secretary-General of the union, Mr. Joe Ajaero, said the plan of the Federal Government to hand over the power assets negated the agreement it reached with the union to resolve all outstanding labour issues.

Mr Ajaero insisted that the gratuity payment was only 68% completed and that no member of the union has had their pension contributions transferred into their retirement savings accounts.

He said, “those that retired from service since 2011 have not received their benefits totaling about 19billion Naira.  The differences of the shortfall of the terminal benefits from June 30, 2012 till date have not been considered for payment.

The statement further said “the question of 10% equity shareholding (in the companies) by the workers as statutorily provided has not been given attention”.

“While we appreciate and sympathise with the core investors, we ask for their understanding and that of the Nigerian public in our pursuit to ensure a seamless transition. We are resolute on receiving every kobo owed us, as we are sure such liabilities will not be borne by the new investors.”

It will be recalled that the Federal Government had earlier declared that it would go ahead with the physical hand over of the company’s assets to the new owners as scheduled on November the 1st, as announced by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry Of Power, Mr Godknows Igali, after a meeting with Vice President Namadi Sambo, on the power privatisation process.

FG agrees to pay electricity workers accrued pension

The prolonged labour crises between the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Federal Government which began since 2010 has finally been resolved as both parties agreed that total accrued pension as at June 30, 2007 shall be paid.

PHCN employees protest over pension

The payment was agreed to be in accordance with the 2010 conditions of service of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).

The resolution meeting which took place at the office of the Secretary to the Federal Government agreed that 25 per cent of the accrued pension will be paid to existing PHCN staff while 75 per cent will be paid into the retirement savings accounts.

Other agreements reached were that severance allowance which shall be paid at 20 per cent of total accrued benefits among others.

Present at the meeting were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Minister of Labour; Chief Emeka Wogu, Minister of State for Power; Hajiya Zainab Kuchi, President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC); Peter Esele, Secretary General of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) among others.

The Agreement was signed on behalf of the Federal Government by Senator Anyim, while Mr Esele and Ajearo signed on behalf of the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).

Protesting electricity workers lock Shiroro dam

The chapter of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station, on Thursday staged a protest against what they termed high-handedness of the Minister of Power, Professor Bart Nnaji, locking the entrance to the power station.

The workers, who blocked the entrance to the dam during the protest, accused the federal government of trying to tactically deny them of their hard earned benefit.

The protesting workers carried placards with various inscriptions such as ‘Pay us our full benefit’ and, ‘PHCN say no to military Minister.’

The chairman of the union, Alhaji Mohammed Nagya accused the Minister of high-handedness in the management of the nation’s power sector.
According to Alhaji Nagya, the union will continue to resist the privatization of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) and insist on the payment of the workers’ gratuity as contained in their condition of service.

The workers who stated that they were not against the planned privatisation of the PHCN, however vowed to continue with the protest until the federal government revert to the old gratuity plan as contained in PHCN condition of service.

Shiroro Hydroelectric Power Station in Niger state has a power generating capacity of 600MW.

A similar protest held at the PHCN office in Abuja on Wednesday when staff of the Power company accused the federal government of forcing them to sign papers that would compel them to accept a severance pay they do not agree with.