Nigerians working at the Unique Foam (UNIFOAM), a Lebanese company in Ilorin, Kwara State, have raised the alarm over maltreatment by the management of the company.
The staff of the company, who spoke with SaharaReporters, lamented the poor working condition in the company.
They stated that the foreign nationals had bribed the Nigeria police to arrest anyone who challenges the management of the company on the issue.
“Our working condition is not different from a slave. After working for hours, we are being paid peanuts as a monthly salary. When we did the breakdown, they paid us N1,400 daily and N130 per hour for overtime.
“We work round the year as we are not entitled to leave and there is no form of social benefit like insurance.
“They sack people who have been there for years. Ninety-five per cent of the workers are casual workers, rather than turn us to permanent staff; they lay people off easily without severance pay.
“Some of us have been working for over two years as casual staff and we are sure they would soon fire us,” the workers said.
The aggrieved factory workers are agitating for social benefits, like insurance in a time of any unforeseen circumstances and access to soft loans. They are also demanding an increment in their salaries.
They added, “We want a quick reform by the company to “staff” all of us and to guarantee our safety for any future incident.
“Last year, the company fired some workers that expressed their concerns by demonstrating a peaceful protest inside the company; they were all arrested by Nigeria police in Ilorin simply because they were demanding their right against injustice and mistreatment by the white people who controlled the company.
“We were forced to work during COVID-19 against the order of the government that all companies should be on lockdown.
“Those who behind our maltreatment are: Ali Ahmad Zain, Managing Director; Ali Ibrahim, Maintenance Manager; Ali Manshar, Factory Manager, Asir Ademola Shefiu, Admin manager; and Ibiyemi Opeyemi, Human Resource Manager.”
The staff, who said they are being denied access to join the labour union, called on the Kwara State Government to compel the management to improve the working condition in the foreign company.
One of the affected staff said, “It is sad that we are being treated like slaves in our country by the Lebanese who are working with the backing of some elements in the police.
“We want Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazak to intervene and force the management to treat the people rightly.”