Unions beg FG to in­ter­vene in Eg­bin cri­sis

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - From Mo­hammed Shosanya, La­gos

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

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