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Lagos PHCN workers begin strike

20 July 2012, 15:14

Lagos -  Workers of PHCN in Lagos on Friday embarked on strike to press for the payment of terminal and other benefits ahead of the privatisation of the company.

The workers said that they would not return to work until their grievances were positively addressed.

PHCN workers in Abuja on Thursday carried out a similar protest to push for the payment of the benefits.

Mr Bede Opara, the President of the Senior Staff of Association of Electricity and Allied Company, said that the government ought to have addressed all pending issues before the privatisation.

``All labour issues and dialogues with the government have not yielded any positive results in the last 14 months,’’ Opara said.

He said that the issue of pension, gratuity and terminal benefits had not been settled.

``These issues should be settled because many of the workers have put in between 20 and 30 years of service.

``It will be wrong to embark on the privatisation without the workers getting their dues for serving the country for a long period.

 ``The workers who are protesting are using what they have to attract the government attention to address their plights,” he said.

Jacob Ishola, the Vice Chairman of National Union of Electricity Employees and Senior Staff Electricity Association and Allied Matters, Lagos State chapter, said that the workers want all their entitlements paid.

Ishola said  that the workers disagreed with their redeployment to other ministries as the government had directed.

``We want the entitlements paid so that those who still want to remain in the service can continue, why those not willing to continue can leave the service,’’ he said.

However, Mr Chris Akamnonu, the Chief Executive Officer of Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company said that the shutdown of all offices had not affected the operations of PHCN.

Akamnonu said that most consumers pay their bills through e-payment.

``The ongoing protest is not confined to Ikeja alone; I think it has to do with Abuja, which I strongly believe will be resolved soon.

``The locking up of offices by the workers is wrong. I will appeal to them to call off the strike,” he said.

All PHCN offices in Ikeja, Ojodu, Ketu, Somolu were shut by the workers.



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