03 April 2014, Jos – The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Wednesday locked out the management and staff of the Jos Electricity Distribution Plc, the company distributing power to Plateau, Bauchi, Benue and Gombe States, following what it described as ‘anti-labour practices.’
The acting Secretary of the NLC in Plateau State and Zonal Secretary of North-east zone of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Mr. Anthony John, who led the picketing of the company, said the exercise would last for a full week or longer.
John who addressed his fellow officials from NUEE and union members in the presence of journalists outside the complex of the picketed company along Ahmadu Bello Way in Jos, sai: “NLC says no to the unfair labour practices; we want light, not sacking of our members; we want foreign investors, not foreign exploiters; we demand the recall of all our sacked union officials.”
John said the union officials decided to execute their protest against the electricity distribution company because it had disallowed unionism in the five months that it had been in private hands, and had dismissed union officials among its staff and used contract staff as against fully remunerated staff.
“What has been happening between November and now is evil,” John said, explaining that “workers have the right to protect their interests; to have a union. But between November last year and now, the company has insisted that there would be no union. Several of our union officials who fought for the rights of workers, have been sacked. In this place, graduates are paid N10,000; what a shame! All the jobs have been outsourced The level of exploitation is too high; we can’t sit down and keep quiet.”
The NLC Chairman in Plateau State, Mr. Jibrin Bancir, who also addressed journalists at the company premises, said the NLC had been in talks with managers of the company, AURA Nigeria Limited, since they took over the company on the need to respect labour laws without success.
“These issues have been lingering since last year when PHCN was sold out to the private company,” Bancir said.
– This Day