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Sacked Dangote Cement Company transport workers ask govt to save them

By John Akubo, Lokoja   |   09 September 2015   |   6:31 am  

 Some of the protesting workers

Some of the protesting workers

FOUR Dangote Cement Company staff in the transport section, who were involved in a recent protest over poor salaries, were handed their sack letters Monday for leading the protest and speaking to the media.

Speaking to The Guardian Monday on their illegal dismissal, one of them, Muhammed Aliyu, said they did not damage any property in the premises adding that they were only asking for their rights.

He asked President Muhammadu Buhari to wade into the matter to save them even as they promised to meet their lawyers for proper legal advice.

Those being victimised according to him include Muhammed Aliyu, Garbar Usman, Kamson Christopher and Andrew Okike.

According to him: “They said we spearheaded the protest, now that the company has been exposed, they decided to use us as scapegoats. We need our entitlements we have not damaged anything within the company.”

This is coming days after the workers protested their poor remuneration and were captured in the media.

The workers, who embarked on strike action over disagreement with the management of the company on their welfare and salary increment, have vowed to continue to stay away from work until all their demands are met.

The workers last Thursday practically blocked the entrance gate as some management staffs were unable to gain access to the factory because they all converged at the gate to register their grievances.

They said they have been exploited for too long having been stagnant on the same salary for upward of five to 10 years without any review, despite the harsh economic realities.

The transport workers who spoke to The Guardian during the protest at the premises of the company in Obajana asked President Buhari to allow his anti-graft searchlight to be beamed on the international businessman Aliko Dangote on the exploitation of his workers.

They begged the President to help prevail on the president of Dangote group of companies to implement staff welfare and salary increment which the management has been avoiding.

One of the staff members, Usman Garuba, said they have been working for years in the company and the management kept promising them better welfare packages but have failed.

“At the last meeting that we held with the management, they promised to implement the salary increase within one week, but they have failed.”

“We added two days and now another one week has elapsed. We demand that a top management officer from the head office come to address us, if not, we are going to continue the current strike.”

He said they were ready to go to any length with the management because they were tired of the life of poverty.

“Some of us are taking N25,000, some N30,000 and some N40,000. They are paying the expatriates N2 million monthly. If they don’t need us, let them sack us.”

Chizoba Kamson said they were the ones doing the work, which has put the company owner in international limelight as one of the richest in the world.



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