PHCN Workers Call of Strike as Blackouts Persist
Staff of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) have called off their strike which began about one week ago.
The decision came after talks between the Power Ministry and Labour Unions took place at the Ministry of Labour in Abuja yesterday evening.
Labour Unions represented included Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC).
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu led the Federal Government’s team to the table to negotiate.
NUEE General Secretay, Joe Ajaero, speaking on the outcome of the discussions said, “The NLC, TUC and other executives of the key labour unions in the sector met with the minister and we called for negotiations to continue. The Labour minister promised to get to higher authorities on the matter.
“The meeting equally resolved that the deduction of 11.5 per cent being ordered by the Minister of Power from all workers’ salary should be stopped since the issues at stake have not been resolved.”
“The meeting agreed to reconvene on Wednesday to discuss some other issues like the ultimatum issued by the NLC. The ultimatum is to expire on Friday and the NLC said it is not ready to suspend it. So, by Wednesday, since Monday and Tuesday are public holidays, the minister would have passed across whatever information is needed so that we can know the next line of action.”
The President, SSAEAC, Mr. Bede Opara said all PHCN workers would resume work as the negotiations continue.
He said, “It was agreed that both sides should maintain the status quo, and then by next week, discussions will resume. Because of the intervention, everybody has to sheath their sword for now, meaning that the workers will go back to work.
“The meeting started formerly and ended formerly and the agreements were read out. Comments were made by the NLC and TUC, and until next week, everybody should stay calm and work should resume normally. It was agreed that the issue of deductions from workers’ salaries should be put on hold.”
Residents across Nigeria are still battling incessant blackouts which were worsened by the PHCN strike. As at press time, it was unclear if the message to restore electricity had reached the PHCN staff across the zonal levels.