CCECC construction workers protest sack, poor wage

Posted by News Express | 23 July 2015 | 4,037 times

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Workers at the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on Wednesday continued their protest over what they said was unlawful sack and poor wage by the management of the company.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that no fewer than 100 workers barricaded the Iganmu office of the company in Lagos to protest their sack by the CCECC management.

Some of the workers who spoke to NAN at the office located inside the national Theatre Complex said they were disenchanted with the manner which the management disengaged them.

Mr. Simon Uje, one of the workers said that they were aggrieved because they were sacked without notice by the company handling the Lagos State Government rail project.

``We came to work on Monday and today we resumed for duty only to be told that our services are no longer needed.

``A worker will resume and work by 8 a.m. and close at 12 p.m. and the person will be sacked without pay and no prior information. This is sad,’’ Uje said.

Another worker, Mr. Rufus Adebayo said that they worked every day for a month without an off day and received between N30, 000 and N35,000.

``The workers have no free day. Some of us have worked with the company for four to five years but there is no condition of service and no letter of appointment,’’ Adebayo said.

Another, Mr. Bello Yusuf, said that the workers do not have basic welfare package such as a health scheme to protect them because of the hazards of the job.

Yusuf said that monthly, N600 was being deducted from their salary as union due, but the workers’ rights are not well represented.

He appealed to the CCECC management to properly remunerate and provide better work environment for them.

However, an official, who did not disclose his name before he was hurriedly invited to a management meeting, told NAN that the company does not owe the workers.

The source said the management had the right to sack workers and re-employ them on contract as was applicable globally.

General Secretary, National Union of Civil Engineering, Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers, Mr. Babatunde Liadi told NAN that they had not been informed of the crisis in the company.

Liadi gave an assurance that officials from the state council of the union would visit the CCECC office to intervene in the matter.

NAN learnt that the Lagos State Chairman of the construction workers union, who was simply identified as Mr Joshua, was already having a dialogue with the management of the company.

NAN recalls that in 2012, the workers also protested over poor pay, sack and poor conditions of service.

In 2013, there was another protest when one of the workers had his hand chopped off while working with a machine on one of the bridges.

Meanwhile, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), owner of the rail project, has said it only awarded contracts to the company and monitors the progress of the job.

LAMATA’s External Relations Specialist, Mr. Kolawole Ojelabi, told NAN that the agency was not involved in the payment of the labourers’ wages or oversees their employment.

``We have given the job to the Chinese company; if there is any issue between the workers and the company, I think its management should resolve it with them.

``Except if there is any damage on the infrastructure by any worker, then LAMATA can come in.

``We give them job and we pay them, labour laws do not stipulate that if you give somebody a contract, you are to pay his or her staff,’’ Ojelabi said.

Source: News Express

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