The Federal Government and organised labour yesterday failed to agree on terms as widely expected in talks over privatisation of the electricity sector as well as severance packages for workers of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN).
Yesterday’s botched parley was sequel to several others in the past two weeks and talks may not continue pending when the organised labour present a final position.
The talks held at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief Anyim Pius Anyim with other representatives of the Federal Government, management of Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE).
President General of the TUC, Comrade Peter Esele who spoke of progress two days ago said gratuity of workers remains a major sticking point but labour will continue to press its demands.
When asked if there was progress yesterday, Esele said “I will rather say the glass right now is half full rather than half empty. The government has made a proposal. We have some disagreements on the issue of... they shifted position when it came to the issue of 25 percent.”
Answering a question on specific grounds covered, he said “what is not written does not exist. So, if I am not coming out with a communiqué that is signed, whatever we agreed can be overturned by tomorrow. Not until we have everything written in black and white, I cannot come out and tell you this is what we have agreed on.”
Speaking on what time the meeting may hold today if it holds at all, he said “What we have agreed is that if it is necessary for us to have a meeting tomorrow we will have a meeting, if it is not necessary, there will be no meeting.”
On his part, Minister of Labour Emeka Wogu said progress is being made.