Electricity Workers Vow to Scuttle PHCN Handover Over Severance Pay Issues

The Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) has said it would scuttle any attempt by the Federal Government and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) to handover Power Holding Company of Nigeria’s (PHCN) facilities to any investor next week, if all labour issues were not settled in line with the agreement reached with the workers.

SSAEAC, in a statement by its President, Comrade Bede Opara, urged the government to act fast, else on one should blame the unions for any action taken.

The statement reads in part: “We state here that in our meeting with the Chairman, Implementation Committee, Permanent Secretary, Federal Minister of Power,two weeks ago, it was agreed that the payment of terminal benefits of PHCN staff entitlements would be concluded in two weeks.

“However, we note that up to this moment, only a handful of payments have been made and what we heard or read in the newspapers is that the government intends to hand over the PHCN infrastructure to the investors on November 1,2013.”

According to him, this will negate and violate the understanding and agreement reached with the unions,adding that the workers would resist any move until all payments were concluded.

He said: “In Benin, 50 percent of the workers are not paid yet and in Jos 55 percent are not paid.
“From available records, 60 percent of the workers in Egbin are not paid, 60 percent of workers in Ughelli are not paid, 67 percent of the workers in Afam are not paid and 100 percent of the workers in Kaduna, Abuja and Jebba are yet to collect their payment.

“Also, none of the workers in transmission has been paid while the leadership of labour also got the assurance of the Accountant-General of the Federation that money was available to be paid the workers.

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