Nigeria – Members of the National Union of Electricity Employees on Wednesday stopped the Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, from gaining access into his office.
It was the workers’ first day of industrial action declared to protest alleged dismissal of their colleagues without payment of terminal benefits among other grievances.
Leaders of the electricity workers’ union were also invited to a meeting on Wednesday with the Minister of State for Power, Godwin Agba, to resolve the issue.
It was gathered that the workers picketed the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Power, Abuja, disrupting the day’s work.
Personnel of the ministry were also denied access to their offices by the protesting workers.
The Chairman, NUEE, Federal Capital Territory Chapter, Godfrey Aba, said the union were at the ministry to protest the non-payment of severance package to members who were employees of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria.
According to him, over 2,000 of their members were affected by the unbundling of the PHCN by the Federal Government, adding that the ex-PHCN workers were yet to collect their full entitlements.
The NUEE members insisted that the minister should address their demands without further delay.
The General Secretary of the union, Mr Joe Ajaero, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents said the meeting with the minister would hold in Lagos and Abuja simultaneously.
He said, “There is supposed to be a meeting by 8pm today (Wednesday). The outcome of the meeting will determine if the strike continues or gets called off.”
The union embarked on strike on Wednesday at the end of a 21-day ultimatum issued to the government concerning working condition in the sector.
Ajaero accused the government of doing nothing throughout the period the ultimatum lasted.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association has called for caution on the situation.