Electricity workers under the auspices of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on Wednesday night turned on the grid after they suspended their one day strike.
This was after they plunged the country into darkness by shutting down the national grid.
After a three-hour long meeting in Abuja with Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the workers, led by Joe Ajaero, the National Secretary of NUEE, agreed to suspend the industrial action for two weeks.
A statement by Olajide Oshundun, Head, Press and Public Relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, said, “The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has apprehended the strike embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) following an emergency meeting between the union, government and other stakeholders, at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.
“Dr. Ngige set up a tripartite committee to look into the grievances of electricity workers towards addressing them.
“At the end of the meeting, the Secretary General of NUEE, Joe Ajaero, assured the minister that all necessary steps would be taken to restore the supply of electricity to the country immediately.”
The strike by the workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) was triggered by the directive of the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) board that all principal managers who are in acting capacity must undergo promotion interviews.
The grid dropped to 2,600 megawatts from 4,149 megawatts signaling the effect of the strike which started Wednesday morning.
The grid capacity continued to drop as more workers at transmission stations downed tools. It fell further to 939.4MW about 3p.m and finally recorded zero about 4p.m.
The protesting workers blocked the entrance to the Transmission Company of Nigeria’s (TCN) headquarters building in Abuja, when our correspondent visited the premises.
NUEE General Secretary, Joe Ajaero, had in a letter calling out the workers for strike said the directive for the promotion interview was in contravention of the workers’ condition of service and career progression path. He said it was unilaterally done without the relevant stakeholders.
NUEE also decried the “stigmatization of staff from the Office of the Head Service of the Federation from working in other areas in the power sector.
“Refusal of the market operator to fund the payment of entitlement of ex-PHCN staff as agreed in December 2019 agreement after an industrial action by the union.”