10 August 2012, Sweetcrude, MINNA – POWER Holding Company of Nigeria,
PHCN, workers have shut down Nigeria’s Shiroro Dam in Niger State, supplying water for powering the Shiroro hydro-power station, over unresolved issues in the government’s privatisation plan for the PHCN.
In carrying out the action on Thursday, the workers accused the government of insincerity in its dealings with electricity workers and not honouring the conditions of service of PHCN staff in the privatisation process.
Their action came same day the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, issued the government a one-week ultimatum to withdraw soldiers from PHCN installations and commence negotiations with the unions on outstanding labour issues, or face an indefinite strike.
Chairman of the Shiroro Power Station chapter, National Union of Electricity Employee (NUEE), Mohammed Nagwa, said, while the other workers protested at the gate of the station, that they were not against PHCN’s privatisation, but, are unhappy that the government was retiring them without proper benefits.
According to him, “They are asking us to go. We are ready to go if our entitlements are paid. Government should honour the agreement to pay our full benefits.
“You cannot send people away by force, it is not done anywhere. We do not have guns, we only want the world to know that we are being intimidated and cheated.”
He revealed that their conditions of employment provide that their full benefits would be paid on retirement or if they are laid off, urging that the government carried this out.