The Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN), the organisation governing the use of electricity in Nigeria, Wednesday threatened to sack its workers who went on strike in Ogun and Lagos States, in the country’s South-West zone.
The workers went on strike Tuesday morning in protest against government’s deployment of soldiers to PHCN facilities.
According to local media reports, the sack notice to the workers came just as the Minister of Power, Prof. Barth Nnaji, justified the reinforcement of security at critical infrastructue across the nation.
In a statement, PHCN management said: “In view of the above, please take notice that any staff member who absents himself or herself from work without legitimate authorisation stands a high risk of forfeiting his or her job in line with extant PHCN Conditions of Service (2010).”
The PHCN management said it came to its notice that some staff of PHCN refused to come to work since Tuesday, 15 November, 2011, in protest against the deployment of military personnel to secure Federal Government’s assets and facilities across the nation, including PHCN installations.
The company claimed that there was no basis for the industrial action since there was no trade dispute between the workers and their management.
The statement added: “In view of the fact that PHCN is the sole provider of electricity services to the nation and as such, an essential services provider under the laws of the land, the current situation calls for immediate remedy.”
The minister noted that the presence of military personnel in hotels, worship places and at critical facilities has gone a long way in restoring public confidence in the safety of these high-profile places.
Nnaji, in a statement from his Special Assistant on Labour Matters, Hon. Nick Agbo, said it was, therefore, improper for any person to reject, in the name of trade unionism, the presence of military men and women in power facilities, in which the nation has made huge investments over the decades.