More than 500 casual employees of the Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO) stormed the zonal headquarters of the company in protest over what they called ‘unjust dismissal’ and non-payment of their three months’ salaries.
The casual employees, who protested along Ahmadu Bello Way to the zonal headquarters of the company, barricaded the KAEDCO entrance, carrying placards with assorted inscriptions, to express their grievances.
When the situation was about to get out of hand, the police stepped in to disperse the group with teargas; but the aggrieved employees later regrouped and continued in their peaceful protest.
They alleged that their dismissal was unfair after they had been promised permanent employment in the recent employment exercise carried out by the company, which later employed those with no experience at all.
According to one of the protesters, Aisha Musa, the management of the company asked them to vacate its premises without payment of their three months’ salaries. She said she has been a casual staff of the company for a period of ten years.
Also, Ahmad Mohammed, another protester, said so many of them have worked for several years in the company without being considered for permanent employment, adding that he has worked for more than 17 years with only a letter of confirmation as a casual staff. He therefore demanded that their severance package should be given to them without further delay.
Head of Communications Unit of the company, Abdulazeez Abdullahi, in a remark said, when they took over in December last year, they didn’t want to contravene the national and international labor laws, which gave them the opportunity to apply for a dignified employment.
According to him, “In compliance with the extant national and international labor laws, the casual workers were given the opportunity to apply for full and more dignified employment, which they did, and went through the recruitment processes and the successful ones among them were employed.”
He described the protesters as those who didn’t meet the employment requirements; adding that, an opportunity was given to both internal staff and fresh candidates to gain employment.