PHCN crisis: Labour to commence solidarity strike next Wednesday

Joseph Arunke

18 August 2012, Sweetcrude, ABUJA – THE Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, said it has concluded arrangements to call workers in the country out on industrial action in solidarity with workers of the Power holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, who, it said, were being unfairly treated by the Ministry of Power over their demand that the right things be done before the planned privatisation of the PHCN by the government.

It said it had set up strike mobilisation committees across the country preparatory to the planned strike which it said, would commence immediately if there was deadlock in their meeting with the government on Wednesday, next week.

The NLC which addressed the press Friday, in Abuja, through its Acting President, Promise Adewumi and Acting General Secretary,
Chris Uyot respectively, on the impasse in negotiation between the workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and the Federal Government, accused the government of being insincere in settling the dispute.

The union said the Federal government reneged on the workers’ demand that soldiers should be sent away from the PHCN facilities as well as immediate payment of July salary to all PHCN workers for genuine negotiation to commence.

It said it was not ready to accept any excuse from the government if the next meeting billed for Wednesday does not address its demands immediately.

Labour also urged the Federal Government to create the enabling environment for a meaningful dialogue just as it asked the government to call the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji to order, saying the minister has resorted to negative utterances against the workers.

“We call on the Federal Government to do the needful by creating the enabling environment for a meaningful dialogue to resolving the issues by calling the Minister of Power to order, withdrawing soldiers from PHCN offices nationwide, and setting up a high powered committee to sincerely address the legitimate concerns of the PHCN workers,” it said

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  • We do appreciate the seeming frustrations of organised labour regarding resolution of outstanding labour issues in the privatisation process of the PHCN. We also want organised Labour to note that the Nigerian people whom they purport to represent and protect from time to time will be at the receiving end of any national strike action. May we therefore implore organised Labour to only resort to strike action when every other avenue for resolution of outstanding issues have failed.

  • This quick resort to action even when obviously not justified is another means of collecting bribe from FG. They did not even calld for congress to seek opinions before gallivating for another chance to take a bite from the FG purse. The labour leaders are representin their own stomach because we all can testify to the situation of power system in the country, the excesses of the Phcn staffs, their lack of productivity, the very transparent procedure FG took and huge amount of taxpayers money phcn had consumed before nw.

  • NLC labouring for darkness,nothing else.