NLC pickets Chinese firms over alleged mistreatment of workers.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) yesterday picketed three Chinese mining firms in Ogun State over the alleged mistreatment of workers.
The NLC, in conjunction with the Nigeria Union of Mine Workers (NUMW) accused the companies of maltreating their Nigerian employees, contrary to the country’s labour law.
The affected companies are A and B, Multi-Verse and Abstar, located in Obafemi Owode Local Council Area of the state.
They were led by the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Akeem Ambali, who also accused the companies of underpaying their workers below the existing N18,000 minimum wage.
Other allegations were that most of the employees are casual workers who operate under “poor and unfriendly environment.”
Also included is the firm’s refusal for the employees to join a union to articulate their welfare.
The action began at 11:00 a.m., with the protesters carrying placards with various inscriptions as: “Enough of despotic business ideology by the Chinese,” “Who owns the land?” We Africans.”
Ambali affirmed that the protest was aimed at curbing anti-workers’ interest against Nigerian employees.
He said: “We are here to defend the interest of the workers and we are closing down the companies over anti-workers actions against them by their Chinese employers.
“The workers are not being paid the minimum wage, and even the Chinese firms have refused to allowed them to unionize, because they know that they would definitely fight for their rights.”
The NUMW Chairman, M. Fasiu, added: “We want workers in the companies to join the union. Once this is done, they will be bold enough to fight for their rights with the support of the union.
“This struggle is geared toward giving the Nigerian workers under the Chinese, freedom from slavery.”
Fasiu said the Chinese couldn’t be in our country and still treat us like slaves
Attempt to get the affected companies’ own side of the story failed, as those contacted referred the reporter to the companies’ lawyer who could not be reached.