PHCN workers threaten blackout if not paid by Thursday


The electricity workers said banks have refused to honor the government’s directive to pay them.

Over 2,000 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, embarked on a protest Monday, over the delay in payment of the severance benefits to about 55 per cent of electricity workers.

The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Electrical Employees, NUEE, staged the protest at the Eko and Ikeja Electricity Distribution Companies and threatened to commence indefinite strike on November 1.

The workers locked the gates to the two offices and prevented people from entering the premises.

“The reports reaching the union is that majority of banks cannot give financial backing to the schedule sent to them by the Federal Government. This means that government does not have money,’’ Adeleke Ibrahim, the Chairman of Lagos Chapter of NUEE, who led the protest, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN.

The union official said that if the workers’ entitlements were not paid by the end of October, the entire workforce of PHCN in all the 36 states will embark on indefinite strike.

Mr Ibrahim said the union was not against privatisation of the company. “But government should pay all workers’ entitlements before the new owners will commence operation,” he said.

He appealed to government to ensure that all the agreements it signed with the workers were met to avert the strike.

Mr Ibrahim said that some of the issues in contention included non-payment of retirement savings to pension fund administrators and non-remittance of dues of two per cent deducted from workers’ salaries to the unions.

Others are non-payment of benefits of retirees who disengaged in 2011 and non-regularisation of service of some casual workers.

Read more: Premium Times news

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