Labour Warns Port Harcourt DISCO against Casualisation

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Ajaero

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ORGANISED Labour has issued an industrial action notice to Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, over alleged increasing unfair labour practices including disengagement of more than 26 workers without due process. Labour has accused the management of promoting casualisation of workers and apathy to unionisation contrary to extant Labour laws, International Labour Organisation, ILO, and other standard codes.

Joe Ajaero, general secretary, National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, said labour and its allies would soon resume the suspended action against PHEDC, which services Rivers, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States, after officials of the Directorate of State Services, DSS, in Rivers State, earlier in August, allegedly forced the suspension of an industrial action declared against the company.

He said labour had already taken the matter up with the director-general of DSS, warning that should the DSS or any other security agency meddle into the issue of industrial relations that did not concern such agency, it would face the wrath of organised labour. Ajaero said: “We are putting the management of PHEDC on notice that we will soon resume  industrial action that will take different shapes. We are not going to give them an exact date.

“We are going to swoop on the company unannounced. We are already meeting and strategising towards it. As long as the issues are not addressed, PHEDC will continue to suffer. There are two persons or groups that are licensed to play a role in a work place. There is the one that got the licence from Cooperate Affairs Commission, CAC and the other one that got its own from the Registrar of Trade Union, RTU. Both have certificates to operate. So until the issues of unfair labour practices are sorted out in PHEDC, labour will not stop troubling the management. We are prepared for the long journey no matter how long.”

The union had claimed that since the unbundling and privatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN, and the zone (comprising of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers states) was taken over by PHEDC it had failed to do the needful to ensure that workers put in their best for better service to consumers.

— Nov 2, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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