Electricity workers in the South South region under the aegis of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have threatened to throw four states of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Cross River, into darkness if negotiation with their employer is not sorted out soon. The workers, who are working for the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, (PHEDC) are demanding for improvement in condition of service. Among other things, they are asking the PHEDC management to sit with them to fashion and sign a proper condition of service for workers.
They said this as they continued their picketing of offices of PHEDC, which began during the week across the four South South states. The General Secretary of NUEE, Joe Ajaero, who led the labour leaders to picket the PHEDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, stated the Union will not sit idle and watch Nigerian workers being treated like slaves in the 21st century.
He warned that as long as the management of PHEDC reneges on the agreement with workers, the workers will stop the distribution of power, revenue collection and attending to Customers’ faults. But speaking on behalf of the company, John Onyi, Public Relations Officers, PHEDC, assured that the management will enter into negotiation with the protesting workers/labour leaders with a view to meeting the demands of workers. He promised to furnish journalists with the details of the resolutions at the end of the negotiations with the unions. But it was not clear if the management had started negotiating with workers as at the time of filing in this report