Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM



Recently, a video went viral of protesting Indian expatriate workers of Dangote Refinery agitating against poor working conditions and lack of safety measures against coronavirus infection at work.
The worker who spoke on behalf of tens of his colleagues claimed that they were employed by a contractor company known as Power Mech Company and had not been paid for three months. He also claimed that they were being forced to work against the government laid down rules and regulation on the fights against the COVID-19 pandemic during the period (March and April 2020) of lockdown.
It is clear that the construction of Dangote Refinery does not fall under the essential services. However, Dangote Group violated the lockdown order as all its non-essential companies opened for production and the respective managements were asking workers to either work or lose their jobs. As a matter of fact, the Ogun State Government granted a waiver to all Dangote Trucks to move around without restriction. This was the attitude of governments across the country. It is a similar backing from the government that explains why the violation of workers’ rights including the ban on trade union activities is prevalent in the Dangote Group owned by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights’ (CDWR) condemns the violation of workers’ rights by the Dangote Group. The inhuman treatment of the India workers is characteristic of a Dangote company. For instance, since 2017, 5,013 Dangote Cement workers were in court against the management for indecent work policies and violation of workers’ rights.
We call on Dangote Group to end the inhuman treatment of the Indian workers and all forms of indecent work practices and demand respect for the rights of workers to belong to the union of their choice that can protect their interest as enshrined in Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution and Declaration on Fundamental Principles and the Rights at Work as adopted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 1998.
CDWR calls on the NLC, TUC, ULC and relevant industrial unions to intervene in the plight of the Indian workers, defend all workers whose rights are flagrantly violated by Dangote Group and other companies and fight to enforce the respect for all labour laws by Dangote Group. We also call on the trade unions to enforce the laid down rules that will guarantee the safety of workers at workplaces during this pandemic and always. Labour must also force the government to ensure that employers of labour strictly adhere to health, safety, environment regulations and Covid-19 safety rules at workplaces. This is as against the present system where some employers like Dangote Group are allowed to flout the rules while their workers are subjected to deplorable and terrible working conditions.

Comrade Rufus Olusesan
National Chair

Email CDWR: [email protected]