05 April 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS - Following the compulsory retirement of three top executives of Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, by the Minister of Power, Prof Barth Nnaji, leaders of the National Union of Electricity, NUEE, and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies, SSAEAC, have accused the Minister of pursuing personal agenda in the ministry.
The workers have also threatened to embark on an indefinite strike if the federal government fail to meet their demands.
At a joint briefing in Lagos, Thursday, the two unions said the three executives of the PHCN sacked by Nnaji earlier in the week, had nothing to do with power generation in the country as claimed by the minister.
Speaking on behalf of the labour leaders, General Secretary of SSAEAC, Mr. Abiodun Ogunsegha, said, “we have observed with dismay the obstinate posture of the Power Minister in tackling the challenges and the labour related issues in the Power Sector Reforms which absolutely has been counterproductive.”
The unions however, called for immediate recall and reinstatement of the sacked executives as they were career personnel who were not interested in the personal agenda which the minister was pursuing.
“We maintain and demand that, he minister should rescind his decisions of the transfer of the LPC of the affected members of staff, stop the winding down of PHCN corporate headquarters until all labour issues are resolved and also reinstate the three estranged executive,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Labour leaders in the Ministry of Power have directed workers in the sector to down tools and begin an indefinite strike from Wednesday next week.
The strike was to protest the alleged inability of the government to fulfill its part of agreement reached with the labour union in the power sector.
It will be recalled that the three unions in the sector; NUEE, SSAEAC and the National Union of Pensioners, NUP, Electricity sector, had in a petition to the Federal Government itemized the agreements allegedly breached and handed a March 31, deadline for government to address their grievances or risk industrial action.
If the strike goes ahead as threatened, it will come a week before the April 16 scheduled resumption of negotiation between government and the unions over labour issues, including the planned privatization of PHCN.