Union Leader demands corresponding salary Increases with electricity tariff hikes


By Tina Amanda


Union Leader, Comrade Innocent Lord-Douglas, has criticized the government’s continuous electricity tariff hikes without corresponding salary increases for electricity workers who generate the revenue.

Lord-Douglas, Deputy General Secretary of the South-South, South-East, Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), expressed his concerns during an interview with our Correspondent in Port Harcourt regarding the proposed electricity tariff increment by the government.

He emphasized the injustice of the seventh electricity tariff increase while worker salaries remained stagnant.

The labour leader gave the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC) a one-month grace period to devise a new salary structure for staff. While highlighting the absence of promotions or salary adjustments in the company since 2013.

“We made it known to the government and the management of PHED that this is the seventh time the tariff has been increased yet it has not affected staff salary.

“If you are reviewing tariff it means that you are bringing more money to your coffer, so it should also affect the staff that goes out to bring in the tariff.

‘We are also telling them that in case of this space of one month, while we are coming to sign the condition of service, they should also let us know what is going to happen to staff salaries. How much are they increasing staff salary?

“We are giving them interval of one month grace to come up with staff salary increments. Since 2013 till date we can boldly say no staff salary or promotion has been done in this company.

“The Union as you know have collaborated much with this company and the reason why we do that is to make sure the company stands and if the company is standing and making revenue that revenue should affect the welfare of staff whose salary is the mother of them all.

“If the Union gives you an ultimatum it means you must abide because there are many ways the Union react, if they do not come up with something in one months time we will do it in a Union way. We believe in the management and we know they are going to come up with something within this space of time”.

Lord-Douglas further urged the federal government to honor labour benchmark of worker’s salary increments, as the cost of living is high.

“SSAEAC is an affiliate of Trade Union Congress TUC and I think we are coming up with one hundred fifty-six thousand naira and whatever the labour center agrees it affects all other affiliates, we do not have a different bargain from what the labour center has said.

“The Union has come up with a benchmark of salary increment we are going to stand by that. The cost of living has affected every person, the cost of living has increased the salary remains the same and that gives more trouble to staff.

“Without the people doing the job federal government can not achieve their aim, the best thing is for government to honor the voice of labour so they can continue to do their job very well”.

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