• Thursday, July 25, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Economic sabotage doesn’t arise if a worker is not paid—Joe Ajaero

Stakeholders demand re-evaluation of power sector privatisation

Joe Ajaero, the Secretary General of the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), has said that the allegation of economic sabotage does not arise if a worker is not paid and he withdraws his services.

He was responding to nationwide condemnation of his union action on Wednesday, August 17, when executives of the NUEE shut down the national grid in protest of the failure of the Federal Government to honour its agreement with ex-PHCN staff over payment of their entitlement as stipulated in their December 2019 agreement.

“You don’t blackmail people when you are asking for your rights on a factual basis,” he said this on Thursday, when asked on ARISETV, sounding unperturbed by allegations of his highhandedness in this matter. “The issue of blackmail doesn’t arise here. The issue of economic sabotage doesn’t arise if a worker is not paid and he withdraws his services.

Read also: Electricity workers suspend strike

Not minding the economic losses that the union’s action has caused the nation, he believes that the government should display the action of sincerity and goodwill to make things work as stipulated in their collective agreement.

“On the issue of two weeks, whether they would meet the demands is another show of goodwill from my side and my organization,” he added.

“That since you have asked for two weeks, so be it. And we are going to wait, “he said, sounding rather comfortable that in case the government fails to meet its part of the agreement, another shut down would follow.

“And that what we call blackmail has been a product of an agreement first reached in 2013.”

“Reinforce again in 2019 and now three years after we are here again,” he suggested, trying to counter the widespread assumption that what Nigerians call blackmail is in fact exercising their rights to compel the government to honour the letters in an agreement.

“Somebody is asking for another two weeks. Somebody is asking for another two weeks. You may be wondering what magic he will use. ”

“But like you said, in order not to be equally accused of all the allegations and the charges that you have listed, the government still wants us to give two weeks,”

“Since those two weeks weren’t forced on them. They voluntarily asked for two weeks. We hope that they will act in good faith. Since it was their own volition to ask for two weeks. ” He concluded.