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Electricity Workers Threaten Nationwide Strike, Accuse Minister of Intimidation

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Electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to implement the agreement they signed last month with the government

 

Its General Secretary, Mr Joe Ajaero, spoke to journalists at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.

Ajaero said that if after the ultimatum the issues were not addressed, the union would resume its suspended industrial action without further consultation.

The General Secretary accused Minister of State for Power, Goddy Agba, of harassment and intimidation during the meeting held on January 27.

Ajaero said that some of the issues pending included, non-payment of over 2000 disengaged PHCN staff; 16 months underpayment of severance benefits as well as 7.5 per cent pension component among others.

“We observed that when the first item was raised on update from BPE at the meeting, the BPE boss was absent at the meeting; we then advised that the matter be stepped down for other items to be discussed.

“This infuriated the Honorable Minister of State for Power, who said he took exception to that, threatening that he is in control and competent to discuss on the BPE issue.

“When he was now called upon to provide information and update on the BPE and payment/verification of staff of Ex-PHCN, he could not.

“At that point, he banged the table, stood up and started shouting on top of his voice which attracted security personnel who jumped into the meeting and threatened to beat us up. He quickly announced that the meeting has been suspended and adjourned indefinitely.

“The union stayed back as a display of maturity and retired to the office of the Permanent Secretary, Minister of Power, where another meeting took place between the Union and the Permanent Secretary of Power till 8:30 pm on other issues amicably on the same day.

“In view of this un-ministerial behaviour of the Minister of State, Power, the union wishes to demand as follows: an unreserved apology from the Minister of State (Power) for humiliation, intimidation, harassment and abuse of privilege, thereby undermining the interest of the workers in the sector.

“That within 14 days, all the issues agreed upon at the meeting on December 11, 2019 should be implemented without further delay. If not, the union will resume its suspended industrial action of December 11, 2019,” he warned.

 

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