Three states may be thrown into darkness, as staff of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company AEDC, embark on an indefinite strike, following failure by Management to remit remittances deducted from their salaries.
The three states under the Abuja power distribution franchise include Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa.
The staff in their number under the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) shut down the main gate of the Minna headquarters company situated around the UK Bello Arts Theatre in Minna, the Niger State capital as early as 7 am today.
The development prevented both the management staff and customers from gaining access to the premises.
DAILY POST gathered that the strike by staff in Niger and other states was due to the breakdown of dialogue between the Union officials and the management which started last August.
The union’s demands include restoration of promotion to all staff stopped about 8 years ago, remittance of 20 months pension contributions not sent to the RSAs and failure to remit cooperative contributions by staff to their various unions.
Also, the staff are asking for a productivity bonus for the year 2020 and payment of check-off dues deducted from workers salaries in addition to the provision of working tools for workers.
In his reaction, the Niger State NUEE Vice Chairman, Comrade Mu’azu Ibrahim explained that the strike would be indefinite until the remittances deducted from their salaries are paid.
Ibrahim argued that for over eight years, the staff have not been promoted nor received any annual increment to their salaries, as well as inequalities in the payment of salaries.
“Our pension which is being deducted from our salaries have not been remitted to the pension company for over 20 months, bulk rent that was deducted have not been paid, also the cooperative which is being done by staff have not been paid for over seven months and they are still deducting from our salaries. The productivity bonus for senior staff has not been paid for 2020.
“We have been working without working tools or materials. We are tired of explaining to the people why they need to buy some of the things that are in our responsibility to give to them”, he said.
Also, the Niger State representative of the National Women Committee of NUEE, Zainab Gakue revealed that the strike action is taking place in all the states under the AEDC, as a dialogue between the management and staff failed to yield the desired result.
She insisted, ” there was a warning strike some weeks ago, but nothing came out of it. They didn’t take it seriously, so today we surprised them. We took them unaware. They were not aware that we are embarking on this protest. We have been pushed to the wall and we are going indefinite until our demands are met”
However, efforts to reach the Public Relations Officer of the AEDC in Minna was not possible as he could not be reached.