Electricity workers suspend indefinite strike

Enitan Daramola
Enitan Daramola

Less than 24 hours after embarking on a nationwide strike, the electricity workers under the joint umbrella of the National Union of Electricity Employees and Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies have suspended their industrial action for two weeks.

AMBusiness reported that a blackout was experienced across the country after the striking workers shut down major power stations over Conditions of Service and Career Progression, stigmatisation of electricity staff by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and refusal of the market operators to fund the payment of entitlements of ex-PHCN staff as agreed in the December 2019 agreement.

The Transmission Company of Nigeria on Wednesday confirmed the shut down of the national grid in a statement by its General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs Ndidi Mbah in Abuja.

Mbah said that the grid was shut down by the unions even as efforts were made to resolve the issues upon which the action was called.

Mbah said that the incident occurred at 3:01p.m. on Wednesday, after several 330kV transmission lines and 33 Kilo Volt (kV) feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the members of the unions.

However after holding an emergency meeting summoned by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, the striking workers agreed to suspend the industrial action.

“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has apprehended the strike embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) following an emergency meeting between the union, government, and other stakeholders, at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige,” read a statement from the Head, Press and Public Relations of the ministry.

“Dr Ngige set up a tripartite committee to look into the grievances of electricity workers towards addressing them.”

The statement added that the union’s secretary general, Joe Ajaero, has “assured the minister that all necessary steps would be taken to restore the supply of electricity to the country immediately”.

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