PHCN workers reject N45b severance package

Workers in the Power Holding Company of Nigeria have asked the Federal Government to explain the reasons it now decided to pay N45 billion as their severance package against the N384 billion it earlier promised.

The President General, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Mr. Bede Opara, made the demand in a chat with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Wednesday.

Opara said the workers recently received a letter to that effect from the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

He said the salary scale used in computing their gratuity was not the salary scale agreed with the Technical and Negotiation Team under the leadership of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.

The SSAEAC president told NAN that the unions had nothing to negotiate with the government any more.

He advised the Ministry of Power to ensure that all labour issues were addressed to enable the workers to get their entitlements in time.

NAN reports that the unions, on Tuesday, boycotted the meeting of a committee set up by the ministry on the payment of severance benefits.

The Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, had announced that the committee would be inaugurated on Tuesday.

“There is nothing to negotiate with the government again because we have finished negotiation since December 12, 2012.

“What we think we are here for is the implementation of the agreement reached with the government’s representatives,” Opara stressed.

He contended that the technical committee earlier set up on the matter should be allowed to continue its work.

“The technical committee comprising Alexander Forbes, Bureau of Public Enterprises, PHCN and the in-house unions should be allowed to continue with their responsibility.

“This committee will ensure that accurate amount is given to each PHCN worker at the end of the day,” he said.

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