Electricity workers accuse BEDC of anti-labour practice

The National Union of Electricity Employees has accused the BEDC Electricity Plc of allegedly implementing unfriendly labour policies.

The union also accused the company of subjecting its employees to poor work conditions in violation of labour laws.

This is just as the Edo State Civil Organisations have called on the Federal Government not to review the operating licence of the Disco due to alleged poor performance.

The Assistant General Secretary of the NUEE (Lagos district), Richard Kedee, who spoke during a protest in Benin, the Edo State capital, described the privatisation of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria as a failure.

Kedee said, “The BEDC management does not observe labour laws and treats workers like slaves. There is no condition of service and they owe workers.

“Today makes it five years since the BEDC was licensed and subject to be renewed, based on performance. But from what we have seen, the privatisation of the PHCN has failed and as such, we are calling on  the government not to renew their licence this year.”

But the management of the company said that it would not succumb to attempts by the union to impose the condition of service obtainable in the public sector on a private entity.

It also accused the union of failing to adhere to due process by embarking on a protest prior to the outcome of a meeting scheduled to hold on November 6 as arranged by the Federal Ministry of Labour.

The company in a statement made available to The PUNCH, said, “We were still engaged in that negotiation to a point that we told them (NUEE) what we could offer in line with the financial reality on the ground. They said that it was unacceptable to them and based on that they would picket us.

“We wrote to the Federal Ministry of Labour on the situation and they told both NUEE and BEDC to stay action and come for a discussion next Monday. There is nothing wrong in picketing. But in the company, the majority of the staff are not union members.”

On the renewal of its licence, the Disco said, “There is nothing like licence renewal; the privatisation exercise was a once-for-all transaction that transferred the assets of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria to core investors in the BEDC.

“All over the world, we know that the power sector is a long-term investment. So, even when the Bureau of Public Enterprises spoke about a review of performance, it said that it would be done in December 2019.”


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