Electricity workers suspend nationwide strike for two weeks

Oredola Adeola

The electricity workers under aegis of  National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have suspended their nationwide industrial action for two weeks after intervention of Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment and other Federal Government negotiating team.

Comrade Joe Ajaero, President of NUEE,  confirmed to news men after four hours of intense negotiation with the Federal Government on Wednesday. According to him, NUEE suspended the strike action with the hope that the Federal Government would act in good faith on the issues in dispute which have lingered for years, to a very dangerous point.

NUEE and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEC) after the meeting both agreed to suspend the industrial action, following the appeal by the FG delegates led by Ngige.

EnergyDay gathered that Minister of Labour on Wednesday summoned an emergency reconciliation meeting with the electricity workers to resolve the issues that precipitated the industrial action.

The workers it would be recalled shut down all the transmission substations across the country over pending labor issues with the management of TCN.

The Union, in a circular with number 012/2020, dated 15-08-2022, and signed by Joe Ajaero, NUEE, General Secretary, said the action became imminent due to the directive of the TCN board that all staff and all Principal Managers (PMs) in acting capacity going to Assistant General Managers (AGMs) must appear for promotional interview.

Meanwhile, Comrade Ajaero, speaking on the suspension of the strike action, said NUEE and SSAEC would take a breather on the industrial action for two weeks to give the FG the opportunity to address the issues.

He said, “Two weeks is not a long time, we will all wait and come back to it. We have been asked to suspend our action and which means we can recall it any moment. We will not wait again for one year or two if the context of what we have agreed today are not implemented.

“Two weeks is not a century and we will come back to review what was obeyed and disobeyed. With the best of intensions and the interest of electricity users in the country, NUEE and SSAEC will meet to review the situation,”Ajaero concluded.

Comrade Chika Ben, President of SSAEC, on his part said the issues would be addressed within the next two week, assuring Nigerians that there would be no further blackout in the future.

Ngige said after exhaustive deliberations on the issues in dispute, they agreed to constitute a bipartite committee to look into the grievances of the electricity workers and report back in two weeks. He added that the committee has two weeks to report back to the whole house.

The Minister however noted that the meeting afforded them opportunity to thrash out all the issues in dispute, adding that his ministry has apprehended the dispute.

According to Ngige, the members of the bipartite committee include the Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agba (Chairman), Permanent Secretary, Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, General Services, Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, representative of BPE and two representatives from NUEE and SSAEC.

EnergyDay’s check showed that peak power generation remained at 4,829.50 MegaWatts(MW), as the Transmission Company of Nigeria(TCN) struggled to transmit 20.00MW to Abuja Electricity Distribution Company(AEDC), while other Distribution Companies  received nothing 9:30pm on Wednesday.