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Labour Unions Shut Down National Grid to Press for Demands

...Strike Suspended for Two Weeks

Following the Industrial Dispute declared by the two in-house Unions at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN)- the National Union or Electricity Employees (NUEE) and the Senior Staff Association of Electricityand Allied Workers( SSAEW)- the national electric power grid was Wednesday shut down by Union officials.The incident occurred at 15:01Hrs on Wednesday after several 330kV transmission lines and 33kV feeder-lines across the power system network had been switched off by the Union members, resulting in generation-load imbalance and multiple voltage escalations at critical stations and substations.The issues being raised by the workers include the non- payment of the entitlements of former workers of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, suspension of conditions of service, career path for workers etc.In recent times nationwide darkness has become quite frequent due to collapse of the grid but in this case it is at the instance of the workers in actualising their strike action.The Transmission Company of Nigeria however assured that every effort was being to resolve the crisis and restore power quickly.”Inspite of this setback, we are set to restore the grid as quickly as possible. The Ministries of Power and Labour & Employment are currently meeting with the Union Officials in order to resolve the issues”, Ndidi Mbah stated.The General Manager, Public Affairs of the TCN,Mrs Ndidi Mbah also expressed appreciation on behalf of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry, for the understanding of its numerous customers – within and outside the country. She assured that “enduring mechanisms are being instituted to avert a situation of this kind, going forward”. However, in a later development, the workers Union called off the strike saying it had suspended it for a period of two weeks. This is the outcome of the meeting held by the Minister of Labour and Productivity and the wirkersAccording to the President of the NUEE, Ajaero, power was also to be restored that same night. It is however not clear whether this restoration was actualised last night.

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