By Bello Adisa
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Kaduna Electricity and Distribution Company (KEDC), Garba Haruna, has warned warned that as a privately owned firm, the company does not need any external labour union to operate.
Haruna was reacting to a 3-Day warning strike embarked by workers which led to black-out in four Northwestern states of Kaduna, Zamfara, Sokoto and Kebbi – the strike ended on Wednesday.
He said the company had in its privatisation stages entered an agreement with the workers that once their severance was paid, they would only be engaged as contract staff for a period of six months which is due this May.
According to the MD, the management has given interested candidates, inclusive of existing staff the opportunity to apply for job through an online process, after which successful candidates would be invited for aptitude tests and interview – all in an attempt to get best hands, as the work required efficiency.
He further added that all the existing staff were paid 100% severance package, and it was agreed that the new investor has the right to terminate their appointment and recruit young, energetic and information communication technology driven staff.
“We don’t need the union to come and sit with us and tell us what to do just the way they have been doing with previous management. I did not see where union comes in as regarding privatization process.
“The reason for blackout include the activity of the union who stopped some of the staff from work, but we are doing everything to restore the power as soon as possible while the consultation is going on. So, embarking on strike and blocking the road will not solve their problem,” the Management said.
Workers of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company, KEDC had on Monday, staged a protest to mark the beginning of three-day warning strike, resulting from communication gap between the workers’ union and company’s management.
Assistant Secretary of National Union of Electricity Employees, North-West, Comrade Moses Amedu, alleged delay in payment of monthly salary, non payment of salary arrears, inadequate equipment to work with, poor medical policy, non recognition of labour union and low supply of electricity to consumers in the aforementioned states.