Mkpoikana Udoma 02 May 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The United Labour Congress has said that it gave the management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distrubtion Company two weeks ultimatum to meet all its demands else the union will resume picketing of its offices and transmission stations.
Speaking at the 2017 May Day celebration in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Vice Chairman of ULC, Mr. Innocent LordDouglas, said the union will not relent until PHEDC yield to their demands.
LordDouglas who is also the Organising Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, explained that the union will no longer allow electricity consumers to pay for darkness instead of power supply.
“We have decided to give them (PHED) the benefit of doubt between now and 16th of this month as they had promised, they know their image is at stake.
“If the Police and the DSS happen to be unable to settle this issue as promised, we are going to resume our picketing. We do not fight and go back, we will not relent till victory is assured.
“PHED has from now till 16th of May to settle all our demands, if they fail, we will go back and start picketing and this time it is not going to be NUEE alone, but all the affiliate unions under the ULC.”
The electricity workers scribe also said their topmost demand from the PHEDC is to allow workers under its employ to unionize.
“The issues are unionism; workers of PHEDC are not unionised, they are being treated like slaves, their salaries are reviewed downward instead of upward.
“Just like they (PHEDC) have a license to operate in the power sector, so do we also have a license to operate as a union in the power sector, we are like husband and wife no one will have peace if the other is not happy.”
Earlier, the Port Harcourt Zonal Chairman of NUPENG and Rivers State Chairman of ULC, Mr. Charles Eleto, assured that the union will be the messiah of Nigerian workers.
Eleto also called on the government at all levels to pay attention to pensioners.
“Nigerian workers are facing a lot of harassment, victimisation, intimidation and unnecessary redundancy. But we are assuring them that under ULC all these issues will be visited one after the other.
“Particularly the pensioners, we will liaise with both state and federal governments to ensure that the Nigerian pensioners receive what is due them, because they have sacrifice their time and their life to work for the state and for the country,” Eleto said