Electricity workers under the aegis of the National Union of Electricity Employees, NUEE, have vowed to shut down facilities and offices of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, PHEDC, over unresolved labour issues.
The electricity union also said its officials were expecting to meet with the Federal Ministry of Labour on May 25, which will determine the union’s next line of action.
Speaking during the union’s meeting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State Organising Secretary of NUEE, Mr. Innocent LordDouglas, explained that the union had obtain a court judgement to picket PHEDC facilities, adding that members of the union were not tired of picketing.
LordDouglas said the date given by Rivers State Commissioner of Police and Department of State Security Service has expired without the management of PHEDC attending to their demands.
According to him, “Our picketing was suspended because of intervention by the Police and the DSS. Within this period, the Federal Ministry of Labour stepped in and invited us for a talk, but, the meeting was postponed till May 25.
“The 16th of May date that the Police and DSS gave us has been exhausted and we have not heard anything from them, though we believe they (security agencies) orchestrated this meeting with the Federal Ministry of Labour, but so far we are not going to relent, we are just holding on till that May 25. We may resume our strike because the issues why we went on that strike have not been met.”
“We are just holding on till May 25, we are not going to inform anyone, we will start our picketing. After May 25, we may not guarantee anything that will happen. We have confidence that the Federal Ministry of Labour will prevail on PHEDC to obey the court judgement.”
LordDouglas further explained that though PHEDC had gone to Appeal Court for interpretation of the court judgment given to the union, the judgment was still active until it is overturned by a superior court.
When contacted, the management of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, confirmed that the company has gone to court for interpretation of judgment given to the electricity workers union.
It will be recall that NUEE, an affiliate union of the United Labour Congress, ULC, had last month commence picketing of PHEDC facilities and offices over the failure of the Disco to allow its workers to unionise among other labour issues.