From Ado Abubakar Musa, Jos & Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
The headquarters of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company inPlateau state was yesterday sealed by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for seven days pending the outcome of meeting with the union on anti-workers stance of PHCN companies.
The Plateau state chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Comrade Jibrin Bancir disclosed that the decision taken to seal up the company followed the non-payment of outstanding salaries and allowances since last year by PHCN.
He said, “We are constrained to inform congress of the anti-workers stance of some of the owners who took over the privatized units of power Holding company of Nigeria.
He added that the labour union had sent prior notice to the company since last year but appeared that the it is not ready to respond positively.
The protest had in attendance the Ag Zonal Secretary of Nigeria Electricity Workers Union,North-East zone,Comrade Anthony John, NUT chairman, Comrade Samson Mafuyai, NUJ Chairman, KatdapbaGobum ,RATTAUWU Comrade Francis Izang, among others.
The protesters, in their separate views, said the handing over PHCN to private sector in Nigeria to take over the power sector has not make any difference since the country was still having problems of power.
The NLC and the National Union of Electricity Employees of Nigeria, Bauchi state branch had earlier picketed the Jos Electricity Distribution Company office, while protesting the under-payment of workers’ salary.
Our correspondent, who monitored the protest in Bauchi, reported that the workers and union officials were seen at the premises of the former PHCN office which is occupied by JED Jos Electricity
Distribution Company office, Bauchi together with members of the union and labor leaders.
The Bauchi state NLC Chairman, Comrade Hashimu Mohammed Gital, while addressing electricity workers, unions’ officials and labor leaders, expressed dismay over the inability of the private firms that took over the company to address the problem of epileptic power supply in the country.
Comrade Gital condemned the way the employers of electricity workers began the de-unionisation of workers, casualisation, under-payment of workers’ remuneration, continued defrauding of Nigerians through increase in fixed electricity tariff and their inability to provide meters to customers.
He commended staff of the company for their performance, despite the problems confronting the power sector in the country, assuring that NLC will continue to support them.
The state chairman of the Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees, Comrade Mujahid Mohammed on his part, condemned the flagrant abuse of human and trade rights in the power sector and added that all efforts to reach an amicable resolution with their employers failed, and that picketing their offices indefinitely will make their employers listen to their grievances and address them.