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IWD 2023: Electricity workers decry job insecurity, poor salaries, others

Electricity Employees at Work File Photo

*Martins Uzoegwu, President of the National Union of Electricity Employees, at the commemoration of this year’s International Workers’ Day May 1, lauds the doggedness of employees in the power sector for providing ‘excellent service amid challenges of inadequate infrastructure to discharge their duties to  Nigerians

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

As Nigerian workers join their counterparts worldwide to commemorate this year’s Workers’ Day May 1, 2023, electricity workers have expressed concerns over extant issues of arbitrary sack, non-negotiation of conditions of service, stagnation of salary, lack of promotion, insecurity, and unconducive working environment among others.

ConsumerConnect learnt Martins Uzoegwu, President of National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) on the occasion Monday, May 1, said: “Nigeria more than before, has been bedevilled with a lot of challenges which would have crippled lesser breeds of people.

“We are facing serious economic, social and political challenges.”

Uzoegwu also disclosed “these challenges added to the specific challenges (economic challenges manifesting in arbitrary sack, non-negotiation of conditions of service, stagnation of salary, lack of promotion, insecurity, unconducive working environment, casual/contract appointments, poor salaries and other conditions of service amongst others) faced by Nigerian workers make it very daunting to continue to provide excellent services.”

He, however, stated: “It is, indeed, worthy of recognition to appreciate all Nigerian workers.

“We salute the courage and doggedness of the hardworking employees in the power sector who continuously provide excellent service amid these challenges and notwithstanding the lack of adequate infrastructure to discharge their duties.

“Nigerian workers can no longer offer their labour to slave drivers whose only interest is profit maximisation and capital mobility.”

The President of NUEE further noted: “The leadership of the congress and the union has identified and isolated this issue as a major advocacy concern and we can tell you that our strident struggle will soon translate into major legislative wins.”

Dehumanising conditions of service persist in real sector -NUCFRLANMPE

In a related development in the manufacturing industry, Joseph Dada, National Secretary of the National Union of Chemical Footwear Rubber Leather and Non-Metallic Products Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), has said: “Since the last May Day (in 2022), the socio-economic conditions of our members have worsened.

“We have been confronted with factory closures, casualisation, outsourcing and contract staffing have become the new employment policies.”

Dada explained that “full-time employees are retrenched in place of casuals, outsourced and contract workers with dehumanising conditions of service.

“We have witnessed some multinational companies close full departments and laid off the entire workers in the last year.”

The National Secretary of NUCFRLANMPE further lamented that “some conducted outright retrenchments, only to recruit more casuals, outsourced and contract staff with very poor and dehumanising working conditions.

“The problems were compounded by unfavourable government policies.

“We are appealing to the incoming government to address the issue of forex scarcity, multiple taxations, high cost of living, insecurity, unemployment, underemployment, deindustrialisation and unwholesome importation of goods and services.”

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