Unions beg FG to intervene in Egbin crisis
Electricity union workers under the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC) and National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) have appealed to the federal government to urge the management of Egbin Plant Plc to reconsider its stance on its face-off with electricity workers and retirees over residence in the company’s housing estate at Ikorodu.
The unions, in a joint statement by the General-Secretary of SSEAEC, Barrister Umar Dubagari and General Secretary of NUEE, Comrade Joe Ajaero, said government’s intervention in the crisis was necessary in order to avert what they threatened could be their counter-action to the company’s treatment of their members, whom the management had maintained were “illegal occupants.”
The Egbin Power Plc management had ejected the “illegal occupants”, saying it had given them a quit notice of more than two years, which the affected workers and retirees, it claimed, ignored.
But the unions maintained the issue of staff quarters is pending in court “and until a ruling is given by a court of competent jurisdiction, it is expected that both parties should maintain the status quo.”
The unions condemned what it declared was “the barbaric and wanton destruction of property, and inhuman and degrading treatment meted on our members at the Egbin Power Plant Plc.”
They added that the staff quarters, staff schools, staff clinic and the rest vacant land measuring about 600 acres, which the Egbin power plant management said it has possessed as its properties “are non-core assets that were not sold along with the power plant to Egbin Power Plant Plc.”
But a statement made available to our correspondent yesterday by Kola Adesina, Chairman, Egbin Power Plc, maintained that the affected workers are illegal occupants of the estate.
Adesina explained that the recent “Amber security alert declared by the management was unavoidable in light of security reports linking illegal occupants on the facility with plans to disrupt operations and destroy property.”
He said the “undocumented residents had continued to occupy the plant’s housing estate illegally since the new management took over on November 1, 2013,” a development he said was a huge setback to the housing needs and productivity of the company’s bona fide staff.
Members of organised Labour protest after being stopped by soldiers from picketing the Egbin Power Station at Ikorodu, Lagos on Wednesday. PHOTO: BENEDICT UWALAKA