National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) has sealed the Calabar district office of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) over issues bothering on the welfare of workers. State Chairman of NUEE, Mr. Daniel Asuquo Ita said the Union’s decision to seal the electricity firm was due to the unfair treatment meted out to workers by PHEDC.
Sadly, activity at the Calabar district office of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) was brought to a halt yesterday. The State Chairman of NUEE said that PHEDC was in the habit of sacking workers without paying them their entitlements, adding that about 43 workers across the South- South zone were recently dismissed and compelled to collect peanuts as salary. “We decided to picket them because they are disobeying labour laws in Nigeria.
This country has its laws and I believe that as citizens of this country we must all obey the laws. We had agreement last year and they flouted it. They don’t want unionism to come in a country that is governed by law. Every company in the country has been unionized but PHEDC has refused to allow unionism and they keep treating workers as animals.
We would no longer fold our hands and watch this happen” Ita however threatened that the premises of PHEDC will remain shut until the company recalls the sacked workers. “We must come to a round table conference, those workers should be recalled and their salaries paid to them. You cannot treat Nigerians as animals in their father land.
We would refuse it to the letter. As far as they have refused to call us for round table conference this gate will not be opened “ the union leader added. Also speaking, Mr. Eyo Ayi Ekpenyong who said he had worked for PHEDC as Chief security officer for 14 years lamented that he was unduly sacked without salary, “They sacked me without paying me anything including severance allowance.
I have served them for almost 14 years; the union should assist us to give us at least our three months salary since they don’t want to give us severance package.” When contacted, Public Relations Office (PRO) of PHEDC in Calabar, Mr. Jonah Iboma said, “no employee of PHEDC participated in the protest and we would discuss at the board level with a view to resolving the issues”
– Edem Edem,Calabar