- Demands adequate compensation, payment of all entitlements
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) has condemned, in strong terms, anti-labour practices being perpetrated by Dangote Cement Plc which, the group said, has become a stock-in-trade of the conglomerates that make-up the Dangote Group.
CDWR narrated that Dangote Group had announced that it would empower about 28,000 Nigerians under an arrangement known as OWN YOUR VEHICLE/TRUCK SCHEME. It lamented that nine months later, it has turned out to be a ruse. Not only did the Dangote Cement Management violated relevant sections of the scheme agreement (an agreement prepared by Dangote Cement); it has now abandoned the whole agreement in less than a year, CDWR stated.
It noted that the process of employment started in April 2015 and ended in May 2016 when most of the workers started work. In June 2016 the management issued another employment letter which further validated and complimented the scheme agreement.
A statement by Chinedu Bosah, Publicity Secretary, highlighted that about 800 workers were employed under the scheme and 400 each were deployed to Ibese in Ogun State and Obajana in Kogi State. The agreement was to pay N60, 000 monthly salary and a performance bonus of up to the sum of N90, 000 per month. The truck officers worked hard to resuscitate 500 non-operational trucks, made them productive again and improved the distribution of Dangote Cement to different parts of the country.
CDWR contended that Article 4.2 of the Scheme Agreement emphatically states that “the Truck Officer shall manage one truck at any given time” but workers in Ibese were forced to manage 4 trucks and later increased to 6 trucks while workers in Obajana were forced to manage 7 trucks. While Dangote Cement forced the workers to manage more trucks, it refused to increase the salary and performance bonus to reflect the number of trucks managed. The OWN YOUR VEHICLE/TRUCK SCHEME is designed to have workers manage the truck and own the truck after meeting a set mileage of 400,000km and this target is unachievable within a year let alone 6 months. This indicates clearly that the advertisement, the OWN YOUR VEHICLE/TRUCH SCHEME and the employment amounts to fraudulent inducement and misrepresentation of the truck officers in violation of Section 45 (1) of the Labour Act.
“The Dangote Cement consolidated its ruthlessness when the management summoned workers to the training hall in Ibese on Saturday February 4, 2017 after militarizing the whole place and forced the workers to submit their ID cards and signing letter of disengagement. This ignoble act were carried out by management staff and armed police and military men. This is the highest height of workplace brutality and insensitivity towards workers who have worked diligently for 9 months,” it declared.
CDWR, therefore, demanded the immediate payment of all entitlements not limited to payment of salary in multiple of the number of trucks managed; payment of performance bonus in multiple of trucks managed; payment of medical allowance of 30% of annual salary; meeting the pension requirement in line with the 2004 Pension Act as amended.
The group also called on Dangote Cement to immediately enter into a negotiation with the workers for compensation for the truck or handing over of the trucks to the workers for ownership as contained in the original agreement of the OWN YOUR VEHICLE/TRUCK SCHEME.
The group extended its interventionist demand to the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFLANMPE) to wade into this matter with the aim of defending workers interest.
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