CDWR CONDEMNS THE UNFORTUNATE DEATH OF NURUDEEN ABDUKAREEM, A CASUAL WORKER AT PREMIER FEED MILLS, IBADAN
We demand adequate compensation for the family and calls on the state leadership of NLC and TUC to commence campaign against casualisation and poor working conditions across workplaces in the state!
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights, CDWR, Oyo State Chapter, decries the tragic death of one Mr Nurudeen Abdukareem, at Premier Feed Mills, a subsidiary of Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc., located at Toll Gate area, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Ibadan, Oyo State. We equally express our condolences to the family of the diseased and demand an adequate compensation for them.
The late Nurudeen Abdukareem, popularly called Alfa in the company, was a casual worker recruited and used by the company as an operator of a fork lift machine in the raw materials department and was reportedly crushed by the same fork lift truck in the course of its operation while on night shift in the early hours of Tuesday, 19th of April, 2022.
The fact that the late Nurudeen was a casual worker in the company definitely suggests that the cause of his death couldn’t have been unconnected with the poor and slavery working condition suffered by mass of the workers in the company particularly those on contract employment under a fraudulent policy of outsourcing.
Premier Feed Mills, like many other companies such as Sumal Foods Limited, Zartech Limited, Gx Foods Limited, Extreme Manufacturing Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Eagle Flour Mills Limited, BAT among others in the state, is notorious for various forms of indecent labour practices and habitual violation of several provisions in the Nigeria Labour Act. For instance, most of its workforce were recruited under an employment condition that is described as outsourcing or contract employment.
Outsourcing is a dishonest strategy adopted by big businesses to circumvent labour laws. In practice it is not anyway different from casualisation which is the condition where workers lack regular status of employment and job security. Under this condition, workers are deprived of their right to minimum wage, pension and trade union through which they can fight for better pay and decent conditions
The working conditions of the outsourcing/contract workers in Premier Feed Mills is so poor as they earn between N800 and N925 daily. In clear violation of section 13(3) of the Labour Act; the contract workers are often forced to work on a daily basis between 9 and 12 hours without adequate working and safety gadgets while the workloads are regularly increased in what is termed as “Firing” without an additional pay.
Behind all of these poor working conditions including the anti-labour practice of casualisation itself is the greed for the maximisation of profit. It is this kind of unfortunate and unending chase for profit that simply explains why the management of the Premier Feed Mills used the poor late Nurudeen, who had no expertise and certified training, as a forklift truck operator, instead of employing a trained and qualified machine operator.
Again the report that the late worker was actually alone when the incident occurred and that the company had to depend on the doctor and ambulance from a nearby company largely explained why he could not be rescued immediately. This further exposes the depth of the company’s indecent labour practice which means that the poor worker was operating the said machine without being placed under the supervision of any expert.
We therefore demand an independent panel of enquiry that will comprise of NLC, TUC, civil society organisations and professional bodies like, NMA, NUJ and NBA for an open and transparent investigation into the cause of the unfortunate incident as well as the working conditions in the company.
More importantly, the death of Nurudeen is an urgent call on the Oyo State’s leadership of NLC and TUC to come up with a holistic programme of action to commence a serious campaign against casualisation and other indecent labour practices in private companies across the State.
We equally hold that such a campaign must include a demand for immediate amendment of the Labour Act which failed to adequately address the question of casualisation and be linked to a demand for dropping of all trumped up criminal and civil charges currently levelled against comrade Abiodun Bamigboye, known as Abbey Trotsky, the Acting National Chairperson of SPN, over solidarity actions against casualisation and indecent labour practices in SUMAL FOOD LIMITED, Ibadan and by extension other companies like GX FOOD LIMITED in the state.
CDWR State Coordinator