The National Union of Electrical Employees, NUEE has urged its members to comply with the directive of the Nigeria Labour Congress to engage in the industrial action which is set to commence on Monday 28th September 2020.
This directive comes off a statement issued by the Union’s General Secretary; Joe Ajaero where it stipulated that aside from the devastating impact the increase in electricity tariff and pump price of petrol would have on Nigerians, the effects on the sectoral workers also must be addressed.
The statement revealed that workers in the sector were allocated a 10% share of the privatized utility company, however, seven years have gone by and still, the various players and government have not fulfilled the mandate despite several enteritis made by the union.
Excerpt from the statement: “despite about five different tariff increases, the Disco’s Genco’s and Nigeria Electricity Regulating Commission (NERC) have not considered it necessary to factor in salary increase in the so-called cost-reflective tariffs, as if staff is not a cost centre in their business transaction, just as the Genco’s have refused to sign conditions of service, the worst being Egbin power station”.
Furthermore, it noted that industry players in the sector have also refused to consult the union, which indeed is a critical stake holder, in the build-up to various policy formulations despite the provision in the NERC rules to consult stake holders in the sector even before tariff adjustments are made.
“The workers by virtue of the 10% allocation should be part owners of the companies; regrettably, their interests are not represented in the board and operations of these companies”. As a matter of fact, the workers are customers to the electricity companies, thus they deserve to be consulted and their views upheld in as much as the day to day running of the sector is concerned.
It is for these reasons that the NUEE has deemed it fit to join the NLC in the proposed September 28th strike which gained momentum owing to the failure of the Federal Government to revert the prices of both petrol pump price and electricity tariff.
On the part of the NUEE, the strike is an avenue to liberate the workers from deliberate enslavement and neglect. To this end, the members have been urged to liaise with the various state councils of the NLC beginning from September 28th till the end of the industrial action; as non-compliance would attract sanctions.