The National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have begun an indefinite strike on Wednesday morning, December 11, 2019, over failure of the Federal Government to implement their demands.
According to The Nation, the indefinite strike became necessary after the government failed to dialogue with the NUEE to resolve the lingering industrial crisis in the sector.
The Union had on November 7 petitioned the Ministry of Power, the distribution companies (DISCOs), and generation companies (GENCOs) over unpaid pensions of 2,000 disengaged staff of the defunct Power Holding Company (PHCN) since 2013.
Subsequently, it issued a 21-day ultimatum to the federal government with a threat to embark on strike afterwards.
The deadline expired on December 11. And in protest, the electricity workers blocked the main entrance of the ministry of power and locked out some of its staffs.
The electricity workers are protesting over non-payment of severance packages for members who were affected by the unbundling of PHCN into eleven electricity distribution companies,
According to a statement issued by Assistant Secretary-General of NUEE, Anthony Sule, the 21-day ultimatum given to the Minister of Power Saleh Mamman expired at midnight on Tuesday. The statement reads:
“The strike letter was sent to the Ministry of Power and there was one letter they wrote, saying the minister is not in the country and that he is still studying the situation. They said the minister would look into everything, that is all.
“The ministry of power has failed to resolve some issues affecting members of the union since 2013 when the power sector was privatised especially issues that with the over 2,000 disengaged former PHCN workers and their pay off.
“It is our action that will show if we are ready or not. We can’t continue to issue threats without action.”
Some of the unresolved issues are illegal transfer of union properties to power investors and the alleged refusal by some distribution companies (DisCos) to remit deducted contributory pension of their members of staff to pension managers.
Meanwhile, NUEE issued a statement on its about the ongoing strike. It reads: