Union alleges Chinese companies enslave Nigerian employees

Mining

• Urges govt to intervene
The Nigeria Union of Mine Workers, Ogun State Chapter, has called on the Government to take urgent steps to redress what it refers to as labour injustice against members working for Chinese companies operating in the state.

According to the Union, which is an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Chinese companies operating in the state subject members working for them to ‘neocolonialism’.

The union alleged that, for example most of the workers working for the Chinese quarry companies have been casual workers for many years without being granted staff status.

The Chairman of the Union, Fasiu Abiola Alao, who spoke recently, stated: “Chinese labour employers and their Nigerian collaborators encourage casual workers and thus deprive Nigerian workers human dignity, all these must stop.”

Alao spoke in an address he delivered at the inauguration of the newly elected Union’s Executive.

He added: “Nigerians working in Chinese quarries have not been treated with respect as human beings, but as slaves and casual workers, this is no longer acceptable in the state.

“Mining industry is a diverse one, this union’s primary assignment is to harmonise all sphere of this industry, and bring everyone under one body where our collective right can be achieved, but not without the involvement of the Ogun State Government and agencies.

“Nigerians, especially people of Ogun State and South West are peace loving people, but our peaceful nature must not be seen as foolishness,” Alao told the Chinese company management.

He however reassured Chinese quarry operators and indigenous ones that “this union will ensure a peaceful atmosphere for business to thrive for all, we will not encourage any form of violence, but use dialogue as the best solution to whatever disputes that may arise in the course of doing business with each other.

“We must both recognise our jurisdictional scope, Chinese are to crush and produce, while agents and marketers are to act as middlemen between the producers and the end users. There was maximum cooperation in this sector in Ogun State; if the Chinese are crushers, middlemen and retailers and also the transporters, what job is left for the indigenous people?”

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