By Bimbola Oyesola
The National Union of Textile Garments and Tailoring Workers (NUTGTW), at the weekend, shut down Royal Sacks Nigeria Limited, Sango Ota in Ogun State over what it described as anti-slabour practices of the company.
The union, among others, accused the management of the company of poor condition of service for staff, non-recognition of workers’ union and refusal to dialogue with staff.
The Deputy General Secretary of the union, Ismail Bello, while addressing workers at the picketing exercise described the management of the company as insensitive to the workers’ plight.
He said most of its over 300 workers have been in employment for more than five years without employment letters and company identity cards.
He said, “they work for 12 hours daily without overtime payment. They earn poor wages in very appalling working conditions. Even though the union had fought and won union recognition in 2013, the management of Royal Sacks has not kept faith with the tenets of union’s recognition, frustrating the process of dialogue at work,” he said.
“The workers are not given any means of recognition as Royal Sacks workers. Due to non-recognition of the workers as members of union, the management has failed to allow the union negotiate conditions of service for its employees. There’s no collective bargaining agreement, which means they use the workers like slave and pay them peanuts,” Bello added.
Bello said it was the duty of the management of the company to take adequate care of the workers, adding that the union will do everything to fight and support its members.
He added that the workers should not be scared of the outcome of the protest, adding that the management must provide all the necessary entitlement due to the workers.
A source at the company who said its managing director was out of the country, however, pleaded with the union to suspend the picketing, adding that the management would be ready to agree with the union’s terms when the chief executive returns.
But the union said it was a pretence as the MD was around and therefore insisted that the picketing of the company would continue until the management signs an agreement to recognise the union.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour and Employment has waded into the matter and fixed a meeting for Tuesday, February 7, 2017, to resolve the industrial dispute.