Dr. Henry Ajagbawa, Managing Director MD/CEO, PHED answering questions from Journalists in Port Harcourt over the labour dispute with workers.
Angry workers disrupted operations of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution, PHED for many hours on Tuesday over alleged sack of 150 workers by the company.
Led by Comrade Joe Ofoka, the National Vice Chairman, East, of Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees, scores of workers stormed the headquarters of the company in a picketing operation over the sack of the workers.
Comrade Ofoka described the sack of the 150 workers as unacceptable.
He said the Union will no longer fold its arms and watch the management of Electricity Distribution companies throw its members into the already saturated labour market and demanded the reinstatement of the laid off workers.
He described the arguments by management of the company that those sacked are mostly aged and have past the productive stages of the careers as far from the truth.
Ofoka accused PHED management of running the system by the intimidation and bullying of workers. He alleged that company employed touts to attack members of the union as they try picket the company.
But Dr. Henry Ajagbawa who assumed duty as Managing Director MD/CEO, PHED in January 2020 insisted in a chat with journalists that those sacked are old and unproductive.
“Most of them are old and getting to 60 years. At that age you don’t expect them to be able to climb ladders and repair faults on electricity poles.
“On assuming duty about a year ago, the staff were not promoted for six years. I corrected all that and the affected by the disengagement were fully paid their entitlements”.
He claimed that most of the casual staff have been absorbed and regularized as full staff of the company.
He also said that he met teething challenges like collapsed towers, obsolete equipment among others. but the management has been managing to supply power to its customers.
PHED operations cover Bayelsa, Rivers, Cross River and Akwa-Ibom States.