TCN staff foils picketing of its headquarters

Staff of the Transmission Company of Nigeria on Monday foiled an attempt by officials of  Trade Union Congress to picket the headquarters of the company following alleged unresolved labour matters.

The TUC officials were led by the National President, Boboi Kaigama, and some national members of the Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies.

The labour matters, the News Agency of Nigeria gathered, was between SSAEAC national leadership and the management of TCN.

NAN also gathered that there were also unresolved labour matters between the SSAEAC national executive and the TCN branch of SSAEAC.

However, the TUC officials in company of some national members of the SSAEAC were prevented from picketing the TCN headquarters as workers went about their duties unhindered.

The scene almost turned violent, but for the intervention of security personnel at the gate of TCN.

The security officials ensured that movement of staff and other officials of the Ministry of Power were not interrupted.

The President of SSAEC, TCN branch, Dairo Abidemi, told journalists that the planned picketing of TCN headquarters was sponsored by  the national leadership of SSAEAC, having lost the cooperation of TCN branch of SSAEAC.

Abidemi said the SSAEAC national body had mismanaged superannuation fund and monthly subscription of SSAEAC members in TCN branch.

He said the national leadership of SSAEAC misinformed TUC on the issues at state, noting that the issues could be resolved amicably without picketing TCN.

He said: “I still maintain that it is as a result of misinformation, these issues can be resolved amicably.

“The major thing we are after is that we don’t want to disrupt the supply of electricity because we don’t want anything that will bring down the national grid.”

Abidemi said the TCN staff resisted the picketing of the office to avoid the collapse of the national grid.

He said: “I know what it takes to build a grid when it collapses.

“We don’t want anything that will lead to economic sabotage.

“The job is the primary reason why we are here.

“Without the job we won’t be unionists.

“So please use your good office and maturity to resolve the issues.”

Kaigama, however, said TUC took a decision to picket TCN because the management did not  honour the invitation by the Ministry of Labour on the issues between it and national SSAEAC.

He said: “We have gone to the Ministry of Labour more than four times.

“TCN management has refused to come and when they refused to come, we have to come and picket this place.”

According to Kaigama, the issues with the TCN management and the national SSAEAC members are the issues of non implementation of collective bargaining agreement.

He said: “The way out is that we want a round table discussion to resolve these issues.

“There is one body that can bring genuine reconciliation and that is the Federal Ministry of Labour.”