Mouka foam workers on strike over victimization and poor conditions
CDWR calls for Solidarity Actions by national leadership of NUCFRLANMPE and NLC
The Lagos workers of Mouka, a foam, mattress and pillow manufacturer, have embarked on a strike action since Wednesday August 11, 2021, to protest against the attempt by the management to behead the workers’ union in the company – National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE).
By Chinedu Bosah, CDWR National Publicity Secretary
This includes the unlawful sacking of two key union leaders and the punitive transfer of some leaders.
The Vice President of the union, comrade Femi Alawoyin, and the Branch Chairman, comrade Adeyemi Johnson, were sacked because they led workers who in struggle for improved working conditions some months back. The Secretary of the branch, Abosede Adams, a woman with children who are less than 10 years old was punitively transferred from Lagos to Aba, Abia State, while the Assistant Secretary Godwin Okon was transferred to Ibadan, Oyo State.
These attacks were also carried out as part of an orchestrated plan to intimidate workers against fighting poor working conditions and pay.
What actually triggered the ongoing strike was an attempt by armed police invited by the management to the factory to arrest the labour leaders in Mouka. This was vehemently resisted by workers.
The workers had previously embarked on a 5-day strike in March 2021 to compel the management to implement the salary increment of N9,000 as agreed. There was an agreement not to victimize workers for taking part in the March strike. But in violation of the agreement, just a few weeks after, the management started the victimization of workers, leading to sacks and punitive transfers.
Presently, the contract and outsourced workers are about 300 compared to regularized workers who are about 136 workers. The management is doing everything possible to convert all the workers to casual workers in order to enable it further enslave workers and make more super profit. The outsourced company that employs these casual workers is Resources Intermediaries Ltd whose owners are linked to some key management staff.
Mouka Form is making so much money but pays pittance to workers. For instance, the casual workers, some of whom have worked for 20 years earn about N20,000 monthly.
Members of Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR), including Rufus Olusesan and Chinedu Bosah the National Chair and Publicity Secretary respectively, joined the protest action of the striking workers on Thursday August 12 in solidarity.
The CDWR calls on the management to immediately recall the victimised workers leaders, reverse and stop all of acts of victimization, meets the demands of workers on pay and conditions, and end casualisation in the company.
We also call on the national secretariat and leaders of NUCFRLANMPE to intervene on this ongoing struggle and support the demands of workers with all seriousness that it deserves. We also call on the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to intervene in the struggle. Mouka workers need all the solidarity to defeat a very vicious management.
We call on the workers to sustain the struggle and assure them of the solidarity support of the CDWR.