Negotiations between electricity workers and the federal government has pushed past two weeks initially billed to end last month’s strike, and a resolution is expected this week, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The two-week duration given for the task was “unavoidably extended” after the two sides realised the volume of work that needs to be completed was more than what was initially anticipated, a union leader said.
“The committee is still sitting as I speak with you, they are expecting that they should round up by the end of this week hopefully,” Godfrey Aba, chairman of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Abuja chapter, told PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday.
Members of the union went on a nationwide strike on August 17, leaving cities and towns in darkness after they shut down power stations.
The workers complained about their welfare issues that include concerns around promotion and payment of staff of the defunct state-owned Power Holdings Company Limited, PHCN.
The strike was suspended within 24 hours for a two-week period to allow for negotiations with a government committee headed by the Minister of State for Power, Jeddy Agba.
The union threatened to resume the industrial action if their demands were not met.
Contacted Tuesday, over a month after the talks started, the chairman of NUEE, Mr Agba, said members of the union understood the extension was not “deliberate”.
“In the course of the meeting, they discovered that the volume of work that needs to be done was more than what was initially anticipated. Because we are involved in the committee, we have seen that the delay is not a deliberate delay. For now, we are still waiting for them to finish,” he said by phone when reached by PREMIUM TIMES to check the progress of the talks.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999