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Sacked Jos electricity workers cannot be recalled

Electric-ConductorWorkers of the Jos Electricity Distribution Company (JEDC), who were sacked recently, will not be re-engaged in spite of clamour by the workers’ union, JEDC Managing Director, Alhaji Gidado Modibbo, has declared.

“We did not engage in a mass sack of workers as is being alleged by the union; we only removed redundant personnel whose productivity has dropped.

“We operate the company as a private outfit that knows that it could only survive if it works with the best hands that will add value to the system,” Modibbo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Tuesday.

The managing director was reacting to the picketing of JEDC’s headquarters in Jos on Monday by the workers, who insisted that the 50 workers sacked by the company be recalled.

Monday’s picketing of the company was led by Mr Musa Ayiga, the North-East Vice President of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).

Ayiga had accused the company of creating disparity in salaries and working conditions of its workers, claiming that workers inherited from PHCN are being paid less than those engaged by the new owners.

Modibo said it was wrong for the workers’ union to seek to force the company to work with workers considered redundant and unproductive.

He alleged that some of the workers were sacked for extortion, claiming further that it was such workers that mobilised students to seal up JEDC’s headquarters and disrupt its services.

Modibbo explained that JEDC had employed more than 150 personnel since it took over the firm in 2013.

According to him, the company only disengaged weak managers that included four Assistant General Managers, four Business Managers and some principal and senior managers.

“We run JEDC as a private outfit that must stay afloat and survive; so, much premium is placed on productivity and resourcefulness.

“The records and data are there to support the performances of those sacked and those retained,” he said.

The managing director also dismissed claims of alleged disparity in salaries of workers, explaining that the salaries were harmonised in November 2015.

“The records are there to back that harmonisation.

“ We know the relevance of morale to efficiency and cannot treat some workers better than others, because we all need their maximum output,’’ he said.

Modibbo said that he had never engaged in any argument with the union, and warned that the company may be forced to take legal action against the union if it continued to mobilize “thugs’’ to disrupt its activities.



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