The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), at the weekend, warned that the managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has drawn a battle line with organised labour concerning the purported sack of the president of Senior Staff Association of Electricity and Allied Companies (SSAEAC), Dr. Chris Okonkwo.
TUC president, Quadri Olaleye, in a letter to the Minister of Labour and Employment said labour considered the act a declaration of war and the TUC was prepared to take on the managing director.
The congress, in the letter signed by the secretary general and copied the minister of power as well as the MD of TCN, said the centre was only writing the minister as law-abiding citizens and for urgent intervention. Olaleye said the TUC said the purported sack of Okonkwo was an exercise in futility because it was out of the power of the MD to do so.
He said, “The crisis in Transmission Company of Nigeria has been severally reported to your office; despite your intervention, which is ongoing, the managing director of the company has issued a sack letter.” Adding that the act was also an attempt to dare labour in the present circumstances.
“It is also an attempt to dare labour and an embarrassment to labour community for sacking a sitting president when a matter is already before an arbiter and has not been concluded,” he said.
Okonkwo, in reaction to the sack letter, had written the Minister of Power urging him to direct the TCN MD to withdraw the letter because it was based on false premise as established. He also appealed to the minister to investigate the falsification of his record by the TCN MD to achieve his goal, and apply necessary sanctions.
In the same vein, the SSAEAC has threatened to embark on industrial action if the letter was not withdrawn immediately.
“Engr. (Dr.) Chris Okonkwo was not on political posting to Transmission Company of Nigeria as you portrayed in your letter under reference. He has been a career power sector employee for more than 27 years and rose to the rank/position of a general manager since 2013 through hard work and dedication to duties. His appointment, like any other employee of TCN, was anchored on the Public Service Rules of 60 years of age or 35 years of service and does not carry term/tenure of service, as such his service with TCN cannot be said to have lapsed since 11th June, 2018,” the union has said.