Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has warned Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company to re-engage 400 of its employees that were recently sacked warning that failure to do would lead to an industrial disharmony between it and the company.
The Congress in a letter written to the company by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba said that the disengaged workers were laid off without due process including consultation with the union in electricity industry, the National Union of Electricity Employees, (NUEE) an affiliate of the NLC.
It warned that if by Monday March 7, all the affected workers are not recalled, it would mobilise all its 44 affiliate unions as well as civil society groups to picket all the company’s facilities where they are located.
NLC further warned that the picketing may be extended to a national action if the company remains obstinate.
The letter reads in part: “We have received information that your management has taken a unilateral decision to disengage 400 of your employees and resort to casual labour without due process, which includes consultation with the union in your industry, the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, an affiliate of the NLC.
This is totally unacceptable to us as your decision was obviously taken without reasonable justifications but for the selfish exploitative interest of your management who dwell under the guise of maximising profit not only to exploit consumers but also to deepen poverty by throwing hundreds of your productive employees out of employment at a period we should all be concerned about our country’s growing unemployment rate.
It is unexpected that a company that was given public funds to operate, after the fraudulent unbundling and privatisation of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, will turn around to extort consumers through tariff increases and go further to sack its employees. This is the highest provocation you have unleashed on us and we have more than enough capacity to respond appropriately.
Consequently, on behalf of the National Executive Council of the NLC, you must recall all the workers affected by your ill-conceived decision.
Specifically, if by Monday, 7th day of March 2016 all the affected workers are not recalled, we shall mobilise members of all our 44 affiliates, including our civil society allies and pro people organisations to massively picket your facilities in their various locations. This may be extended to a national action if you remain obstinate.
We will not allow you or any employer, private or public, to continue to trample on the fundamental rights of workers, which includes right to work, “