Electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have suspended their industrial strike action.
MetroBusinessNews (MBN) reports that the electricity workers under NUEE embarked on the strike on Wednesday, shutting down the national grid to press home their demands.
The federal government immediately summoned an emergency meeting with the electricity workers after they shut down the national grid, throwing the nation into darkness.
It was gathered that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige succeeded in reaching a truce with the electricity workers for them to suspend the strike.
“The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, has apprehended the strike embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) following an emergency meeting between the union, government, and other stakeholders, at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige,” read a statement from the Head, Press and Public Relations of the ministry.
“Dr Ngige set up a tripartite committee to look into the grievances of electricity workers towards addressing them.”
The statement added that the union’s secretary general, Joe Ajaero, has “assured the minister that all necessary steps would be taken to restore the supply of electricity to the country immediately”.
MBN reports that the electricity workers embarked on the strike in protest against the directive by the board of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) that all Principal Managers in acting capacity going to Acting General Manager must appear for a promotion interview.
NUEE’s Ajaero, had in a statement explained that the directive was in contravention of the workers’ conditions of service and career progression paths, and alleged that it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders.
Other issues raised include stigmatisation of staff from the office of the Head of Service of the Federation from working in other areas in the power sector, and non-payment of December 2019 entitlement of ex-PHCN staff.
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Following deliberations at the meeting that lasted for three hours with the Minister of Labour and Employment, the electricity workers union agreed to suspend the strike for two weeks.
The workers expressed optimism that the government will listen to the voice of reasoning and prioritise their welfare and wellbeing.