Members of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, yesterday shut operations at all offices of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company, JEDC Plc in the four states of Plateau, Benue, Bauchi and Gombe over alleged unfavourable working conditions among other things.
The aggrieved protesters stormed JEDC offices in the four states and prevented management and others from gaining access into the company’s offices for business transactions.
In Jos, the unionists and others stormed the headquarters of the Company at Rwang Pam street, Jos as well as the office along Murtala Mohammed Way, as early as 6.30am barricaded the entrances and prevented Management and others from gaining entry into the offices. They displayed several placards with inscriptions such as “NUEE say no to sack of workers without justification, Enough is enough of customer exploitation, Disparity of salary is evil, Privatization is evil, reverse it.” Speaking, the Assistant General Secretary of NUEE, North East Zone, Mr. Anthony Sule, said the protest was over the plight of workers in the company.
According to him, “We are protesting several wrongdoings of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company. They are maltreating workers, no condition of service, salary disparity which means they are paying different salaries to different workers based on their discretion. No salary scale, no public holiday, no leave for workers, no increment and they have made workers to sign a bond that they will collect a certain amount from customers’ everyday even if there is no light.
“When the workers are not able to meet up, they are threatening to sack them, there is high-handedness and several wrongdoings being perpetrated that is why we have come out to protest. We have written several letters to the Management but they are not ready to meet us and listen to us. We gave them several ultimatums and they expired, nobody talked to us, seven more days were added, nothing happened. Even the security agencies intervened and asked them to talk to us but nothing happened, nobody is available to talk to us that is why we came out to tell the world what we are passing through.”
Reacting, Head of Public Relation, JEDC, Hajiya Lubabatu Rabiu, in a statement said, “In line with the on-going protest by the National Union of Electricity Employee, (NUEE), JED wishes to state that talks with the NUEE has been on-going before now and we shall continue to dialogue with them to resolve all complaints.”