By Michael Oche,
The picketing of the Portharcourt Electricity Distribution (PHED), by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) entered its second day on Wednesday.
The picketing which is being done to protest what the union described as infractions against workers rights has disrupted business activities at the Distribution Company.
The union also disrupted supply of electricity to Rivers state, Bayelsa and Cross Rivers states, all of which are linked to the PHED.
The union among other things accused the management of the company of refusal to sign conditions of service and procedural agreement; Insensitivity of the management to workers welfare
Speaking during the picketing, General Secretary of NUEE, comrade Joe Ajero said the management has refused to remit already deducted check-off dues and have engaged in obnoxious policy of restructuring and repositioning, delisting/ de-unionization of union members
He said, “Because of that non signing of conditions of service, a lot of precarious employment is taking place here. In the last 3 months, they are sighting COVID-19 as excuse for not remitting check off dues.”
He said at least 1,500 of its members who are workers within the company have been affected by the anti labour activities of the management.
Ajero who is also a deputy president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) said while the distribution company have carried out electricity tariff increase, it has not considered salary increase for workers, many of whom he said have been attacked by customers who are unhappy with the tariff increase.
He said, “This is about the 5th tariff increase without factoring salary increase. And service has not improved. Nothing is happening. With this tarrif increase, our members are prone to attacks. Previous tariff increase has led to killing of our members who go out to disconnect and it took place without consultation with labour”
Ajero said the Discos have not improved service but have been increasing tariff. He said the Union is against the increment.