PHCN Workers Protest Non-Payment of Severance Benefits

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No fewer than 300 workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) on Monday staged a peaceful protest at the Abuja office, against an alleged non-payment of their severance benefits.

Temple Iworiwa, the Zonal Organising Secretary of the National Union of Electricity Employees, said while addressing newsmen, that the union was not against the privatisation of the company.

He explained that the protest was due to the Federal Government’s position to go ahead with the official hand over of the company to the investors without resolving all the labour related matters.

He said some of the agreements reached between the union and the Hassan Sunmonu-led negotiating team in July 2012 were not observed.

Iworiwa said currently, almost 40 per cent of PHCN staff had not yet received their severance benefits.

“The reports reaching the union is that majority of the banks can not give financial backing to the schedule sent to them

by the government, meaning that government does not have money,” he said.

“Let me take you back down memory lane. Some of the contents of the agreement included biometrics verification for retired and serving PHCN staff,” he added.

He appealed to government to reconsider its steps and pay all dues to the workers.

Iworiwa said the protest was also being observed in the 36 states of the federation including the FCT.