Severance package: PHCN workers hold prayers, threaten strike

The PHCN workers say they would go on strike if the Federal Government fails to adhere to pay their severance package.

Some electricity workers in Nigeria on Friday held nationwide prayer sessions to facilitate payment of entitlements to disengaged colleagues.

Members of the National Union of Electricity Employees, and the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies embarked on the prayers.

Some leaders of the unions said in Lagos that the prayer is to put the Almighty first in their subsequent actions.

They said that the workers would embark on strike if the Federal Government failed to adhere to an earlier agreement with the unions.

The Vice-Chairman of Lagos/Ogun Chapter of the junior workers’ union, Mbang Etukubes, said that the workers were aggrieved over alleged government’s shift of position on the matter.

Mr. Etukubes said that the unions were disappointed when government said it now planned to inaugurate a Rationalisation and Benefit Statement Review Committee instead of an implementation committee agreed upon.

He said that when the unions met with the Bureau of Public Enterprises and Alexander Forbes (a consultant on the matter), they agreed to set up an implementation committee.

“As if this is not enough, the government came out with a new amount of N45 billion which is different from the N384 billion earlier announced.

“Besides, the government says it is no longer paying the workers in bulk, but in phases beginning from May to July,” Mr. Etukubes said.

The Federal Government, however, said that payment in phases was to enable it effectively meet the obligation.

A correspondent who monitored the situation in Lagos reports that all PHCN offices were shut during the prayer, which lasted for hours.


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