Nigerian casual workers at Indian firm protest slave-like working conditions

The casual workers at Midland Rolling Mills, an Indian-owned company based in Abeokuta, on Tuesday protested their poor work conditions.

The workers said they were being treated like slaves.

The protesters gathered in front of the company’s gates along Abeokuta-Lagos road, with placards variously captioned: “Our Demand: Upgrade in all allowances,” “Implement Annual productivity package for all workers,” “No more casual; casual should be upgraded to trainee,” “Approve staff workers unionism,” “Implement night allowance,” and “Prompt medical benefit.”

PREMIUM TIMES reports that as the protest mounted, the General Manager, Bibhas Bhanjdeo, who was on his way to the office, on sighting the aggrieved workers, immediately made a U-turn and zoomed off in his car.

The protesters, led by Olawale Joe, told journalists they embarked on the peaceful protest and strike following the failure of the management to address their plights after several pleas.

Mr. Joe said some of the workers had lost their fingers to machines but were ignored by management. He pointed out Kunle Benjamin, a maimed worker with three missing fingers.

The administrative and personnel manager of the company, Daniel Tejohun, who later arrived the scene with armed policemen, addressed the workers.

He said they had the right to protest but appealed to them to avoid violence. He called for dialogue with the management to find lasting solution to the problem.

‘”We have heard your grievances. If we don’t dialogue, we can’t have a way forward. Please, pick representatives and let us dialogue,” Mr. Tejohun said

After about an hour, and after tempers had calmed down, the personnel manager called the runaway general manager, who returned to meet with five representatives and address journalists.

Mr. Bhanjdeo explained that the eleven demands of the workers were already being attended to.

He said the delay in implementation was due to the absence of the company’s Managing Director, Mahindra Singh, who travelled abroad but is expected to return soon.

He said all demands would be addressed effectively within the next two weeks.


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  • tsunami1earthquake

    Only in Nigeria will this kind of thing happen! But, come to think of it, does Nigeria not go about the globe begging investors to come into Nigeria? This is the result of that. The Indians are capitalizing on the fact that the Nigerian government has no choice and so these Indians decide to do anything to their Nigerian employees while the Nigerian government looks the other way. By the way, this is part of the employment the federal government boasts when it goes on air to announce it has created millions of employment for Nigerians!

    • Frank Bassey

      Where are the Nigeria Labour Congress leaders? Are you aware that NLC leaders duped Nigerian workers of billions of Naira through a housing scheme scam? Is this also Jonathan’s making? Do you know these Indian companies have Nigerian directors – not government-appointed?

      • tsunami1earthquake

        That’s a big revelation. A crime has been committed by the NLC leaders. Then what has government done to recover these stolen monies from these NLC leaders and then impose the appropriate sanctions on them? This is the crux of the matter. Since government did nothing or something appropriate, then someone in government is complicit in the NCL leaders’ action.

  • Robert Johnson

    Na today Indians dey abuse Nigerians at work in Nigeria? When their Nigeria chairman hear of this protest, the Leader(s) will either be sacked or put behind bar. Trust me.

  • George

    poor work conditions pls let them resign or is it by force to work there?

  • bassey eniang

    Indians… again.? Why do these people always think they can come to this country and manoeuvre Nigermans to deny them their rightful entitlements? Indians “stole” my land situate between theirs using fraudulent documents, title documents (including deed ) of their own land lying next to mine. To perfect the fraud, their company secretary, solicitor cum land agent made application to Lagos Lands Bureau falsely claiming to be my company’s “solicitor”! NIgerians must mobilise and chase these lndian fraudsters out of our country. Can any Nigerian be allowed to do in Inidia what these people are doing to our citizens? Government should act now.