NUEE pickets AEDC over salary deductions, poor condition of service

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Electricity workers protest in north=central Nigeria.

By Mohammed Usman

Members of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) in the north-central states of Nigeria have embarked on an indefinite strike over alleged poor conditions of service including remunerations, lack of promotions and discriminatory salary structure for the workers.

The union insisted that the monthly deductions from salaries in the name of retirement benefits without remitting same to the various individual pension companies, ‘Bulk Rent’ defaulting and as well, Cooperative Society deductions not properly accounted for by the AEDC must stop.

In Minna, the state capital for instance, customers who had gone to recharge or for different complaints were driven away by the protesting staff who were out early Monday morning to lock up the entire company premises in parts of the metropolis and across the states.

The workers, some carrying placards with different inscriptions, besieged the regional office with the gates under locks and keys vowed that the region will remain in darkness as the strike is indefinite, until the AEDC listens to their demands which include; providing them with tools/components to reduce risks of professional hazards and customers harrassments.

At the AEDC Regional headquarter located beside U K Bello Arts Theatre, Minna, the Vice Chairman of NUEE/spokesperson of the union for the region, Comrade Mua’zu Ibrahim, lamented that harsh working condition they are being subjected to by the AEDC.

NUEE had embarked on a one-day warning strike about two weeks ago to draw the attention of the management to some of the challenges but nothing was done, this according to Mu’azu, prompted the indefinite strike in three states –

Kogi, Nasarawa, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja – until the issues were addressed.

Aaccording to him, “The strike would be indefinite and until all the remittances and deductions from salaries for the past 20 months are paid and/or remitted to our various pesion service providers, members will not resume work”.

Mu’azu further alleged that, “For over eight years, no staff has been promoted and none has benefited from anything like annual salary increment. What we see is a kind of clandestine discriminately treatment or some sort of inequality in the payment of salaries”.

He said, “Monies are being deducted from our salaries but not remitted to the pension company, bulk rent that was deducted not paid to us, also the cooperative which is being done by staff has not been paid for over seven months now yet they are still deducting from our salaries and the productivity bonus for senior staff have not been paid since last year.

“We have been working without adequate working tools or materials notwithstanding the risks involved. We are tired of explaining to customesr why they need to provide this or that in order to have light in their homes when in real sense it is our responsibility to provide such things for them”.

Also, the NUEE National Women Committee leader in the zone, Comrade Zainab Gaku, said members of the union could no longer continue considering the inherent risk hence the need for the indefinite strike until the AEDC management do the needful.

NUEE members, according to Zaymab, were “Asking for better condition or service, proper accounting of deductions from their salaries and other benefits which should have been remitted accordingly but has not been done”.

Series of dialogue with the management on the number of issues raised by the NUEE failed to yield desired results and this according to Comrade Zaynab prompted the picketing of the AEDC as the only option to fight for their rights to better condition of service.

 

valoa2000@yahoo.com

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