NITEL’S WORKERS SHORT CHANGED ON PENSIONS AGREEMENT

Telecoms

A meeting between the federal government and telecommunication workers unions over the payment of a N46.7 billion severance package ended last weekin deadlock.

Report said the Minister of Communications, Engineer Obafemi Anibaba, walked out from the meeting after the union demanded the presence of Labour and Productivity Minister, Dr. Hassan Lawan, at the venue of the meeting.

  National secretary of the Staff Association of Utilities, Statutory Corporations and Management Companies (SSAUSCGOC), Comrade Emmanuel Ibah, Mtel branch, said the absence of the Labour Minister at yesterday's meeting is one of the reasons why the union refused to honour the meeting.

He said Dr. Lawan is the person appointed by the federal government to chair the presidential committee on NITEL/MTEL labour restructuring, but just of a sudden, he disappeared without any reason for his absence or representation in two consecutive meetings.

He said the union demanded to see the minister for two reasons. One, he chaired the meeting in July when both the union and government officials agreed on 5 years pension pay off and secondly, he is the right person assigned by the presidency to handle their cases.

The new resolution made available to Daily Trust titled "Summary of Benefits Payable," government agreed to pay 4 years pension payout to staff between 30-35 years, 3.5 years for 25-30 years, 20-25 to get 3 years, 15-20 to get 2.5years and 10-15 to get 2 years.

But the labour union rejected the new package saying that it is in contrast with earlier agreement reached by the negotiation committee set up by the federal government before the sale of the telecommunication giant.

The change of decision by the federal government, Daily Trust learnt that the amount to pay the 7,558 exiting staff of the telecoms company represents about 75 percent of the sum paid by the Transnational Corporation, the new owners of the companies.

Daily Trust