Rising from a meeting in Enugu yesterday, the labour leaders declared that the alleged ill-treatment of EEDC workers would no longer be tolerated, pointing out that they were fully prepared to to go to ‘war’ with them this time around.
They have therefore handed down a fresh 21-day ultimatum to the management within which to resolve all issues or they would face the planned shut down. They are also requesting the EEDC management to rescind the order preventing its workers from participating in trade union activities.
Chairman TUC Enugu State chapter, Comrade Igbokwe Chukwuma Igbokwe who is also the coordinator of the group addressed newsmen after their meeting.
Said he, “we are going to shut down the EEDC because this is the only language that can make them comply with the demands of workers.
“We have tried all manner of peaceful process and the only option left for us is action because those people there are human beings, you cannot enslave them; they are our members and we are going to mobilize the five States in the east and close up that place so that the world will hear that EEDC maltreats workers.
“Series of letters had been written for a meeting where issues could be resolved without response. We have thus met and we have decided that leaders in each of the five States should go home and begin to mobilize for an action.
“We are giving the EEDC the last ultimatum of 21 days to resolve the issues at the end of which labour would commence very serious industrial action. We cannot continue to watch things get worse. All we are saying is that majority of customers of the EEDC are workers and they cannot be making money from workers and fail to treat their own workers well. We are looking at the inefficiency in that area, we are looking at the inability to improve power supply the way it should be and the poor industrial relations affect the output of the organization.
“Workers of EEDC”, he went on, “are like slaves currently and they are working with fear because they don’t know what to expect the next day; their names may be published anytime as having been sacked or retrenched and that cannot bring out the best in them”, he further stated.
The labour leaders also demanded for the payment of 2013 outstanding bulk rent of both disengaged and serving staff of the company as well as the recall and proper placement of disengaged union officials.