PHCN Crisis:Withdraw soldiers, and resume dialogue-NLC Statement



going negotiations between the National Union Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Federal Government a number labour issues have broken down with the  government  drafting armed soldiers to take over the facilities the Power Holding Company Nigeria  (PHCN).

Rather than resort to high handed methods, that there is still room for further dialogue to break the logjam. More so when the Chief Negotiator, Comrade Hassan Sunmonu, the pioneer the NLC and the Secretary the Organisation African Trade Union Unity ( OATUU) is yet to submit  his to government.

note that the current stalemate, among other issues, has been engendered by disagreement over and gratuity. While the union had demanded for 25 percent, which hitherto had been deducted from workers salary for and gratuity, the government had insisted paying 25 percent up till 2004, and 15 per cent from 2005 to date.

The union had further argued that and gratuity is part of the condition of service of all PHCN workers and their employers have been deducting the 25 per cent to date. That the Act, which government is hinging the of 15 per cent  ostensibly when the Act came into being was not tenable.

note that no where the Act was gratuity abrogated, particularly when this is part of the condition of service of employees. Of much concern is that the workers are being denied this benefit when they have collectively contributed to it over the years.  It is expected that total deductions of workers should be paid to them.

It is instructive that negotiations between the union and government had dragged on for so long due to the inability to agree on issues line with the condition of service of employment.

This resort to strong arm tactics an industrial relations dispute is condemnable, as it might escalate the crisis the power sector.

We call on government to withdraw soldiers from PHCN facilities, and resume meaningful dialogue with the union with a view to resolving the  stalemate. Both parties are urged to avoid unfair labour practices to allow negotiations to hold sway.

Also, the Chief Negotiator has not submitted his team’s for implementation, which implies possibility of further dialogue with the workers.

 

Abdulwahed Omar

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