Angry protesters identified as workers of Pladis Manufacturing Company, Dopemu, Lagos, recently staged a protest demanding for salary upgrade and reinstallment of their internal labour union.
The protesters stormed the company in solidarity with coloured placards with words like, ‘Reinstate our union and excos’, ‘say no to odious slavery’, ’10years of casual workers is no longer allowed’, ‘no more monkey dey work baboon dey chop’.
Speaking to newsmen, one of the members of the lead team, Mr. Emmanuel Ezekiel, lamented that they have been made slaves by the company, who allegedly doesn’t have regard for them, nor feel their pains.
He said: “We are being maltreated as slaves. We work from 7am in the morning to till 7pm and they are not appreciating us. The management enjoy all the benefits and neglect those who work to ensure production is going on.
“They don’t have plans for us. Here, we have casual workers of 13 years, and at the end of the day, they don’t appreciate us. The casual workers receives N18, 000 as salary, and some of them come from distance to ensure work is in progress.
“Here we have basics receiving N12, 000 as salary. We have staff who have worked up to 10 years and yet their salary not up to N35, 000. When transportation and feeding is deducted from their salaries, then how much is the take home. We have been pleading to them to do something but they refused to share our pain.”
Another lead team member, Mr. Friday Edet, said the National Labour Union visited the company recently on the same issue. According to him, the union leader addressed them as illiterates constituting nuisance in the neighbourhood.
“We have been working here for many years and there is no improvement. This is a company where they don’t even pay complete salary. What they do is to employ people and claim we are illiterates.
“We want the national union here. There was a time they were here to solicit for us, but from what was on ground, it’s convincing they were bribed. Now the only mouthpiece we have that fight for us is our union, and now, the union members have been awarded indefinite suspension, which could lead to permanent termination.
“We have been working here with no gain. All we want is the head of administration, Mrs. Abiola Olubiyi, to be sacked. She is the our problem,” he lamented.
Mr. Temitope Oladipupo, who is also among the lead team members noted that the company has been marginalising them.
He explained that the company failed to recognise graduates who are casual workers whenever there are vacancies, rather they employ friends and relatives.
“We know of companies where you earn up to N50, 000 in a month and their works are benefiting. But here, it’s impossible for someone to earn more than N35,000 in a month.
“We have basics receiving N6,000 as salary, so tell me how more years will the basic spend for them to increase his salary. If the want to appraise us, they appraise us with cash not up to a thousand naira. Whereas, they go ahead to employ graduate, we are not angry about that but we tired of being treated as slaves.
“When they needed graduates, many of us that are graduates here applied but they didn’t recognise us. They called us illiterates and that’s the way they have been presenting us to the white men. One of the national union members came recently and also addressed us as illiterates. This is very annoying, we are saying no to slavery” he said.
As at press time, all efforts by THISDAY to reach Pladis Manufacturing Ltd, proved abortive as calls and messages were ignored.