UPDATED URGENT APPEAL – Arrest of Striking Mouka Workers, Lagos
CDWR DEMANDS UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF 11 MOUKA WORKERS ARRESTED AND DETAINED BY THE NIGERIAN POLICE ON THE ORDERS OF MOUKA MANAGEMENT
CDWR DEMANDS AN END TO MOUKA MANAGEMENT’S ATTACKS ON WORKERS AND THEIR LEADERS
WE DEMAND AN END TO CASUALISATION AND CONTRACT STAFFING IN MOUKA LIMITED AND IMPROVEMENT IN WORKING CONDITIONS
This morning (August 13, 2021) in Lagos the Nigeria Police invaded Mouka Ltd, which produces household and industrial foam products including mattresses and sheeting, for the third day running and brutally arrested the union branch Chairman, Comrade Adeyemi Johnson, and 10 other striking workers on the orders of the management. Workers had embarked on a strike and peaceful protest on August 11 over management attacks on democratic rights of workers and every day police came to the picket lines. The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) condemns the victimization of key workers’ leaders by the Mouka management including unlawful sacks, punitive transfers, arrest and detention.
The Vice President of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), Comrade Femi Alawoyin and the chairman of the Mouka Branch of the union Comrade Adeyemi Johnson were callously sacked because they led workers agitation for improved working conditions some months back.
The Secretary of the union in the company, Abosede Adams, a woman with children who are less than 10 years old, was punitively transferred from Lagos to Aba while the Assistant Secretary Godwin Okon was transferred from Lagos to Ibadan.
These attacks were carried out as part of an orchestrated plan to intimidate workers and behead the union.
We support the ongoing strike action by the workers to protest the victimization and attempt to behead workers union in the company.
The strike was actually triggered by armed police, numbering over 100 and invited by the management, invading the company’s premises in an attempt to arrest the labour leaders in Mouka. This was vehemently resisted by workers. Workers had 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 March strike action but after a few weeks management started victimizing 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 key management staff. Mouka is making so much money but pays a pittance to workers. For instance, the casual workers, some of whom have worked for 20 years are still casuals and earn N25,000 monthly. Mouka Limited has the poorest working conditions for workers when compared with other companies of the same status in the industry.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers Rights (CDWR) calls on the management to immediately recall the victimised workers leaders, reverse and stop all forms of victimization, meets the demands of workers for improved pay and conditions and end casualisation and contract staffing in Mouka Limited.
It is unfortunate that key leaders of National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), namely General Secretary, Mr Joseph Dada and President, Mr Babatunde Olatunji are yet to intervene concretely. As a matter of fact, the President of the union works in Vita Foam and which is 3 minutes’ walk away from Mouka but has not visited the workers since they went on strike 2 days ago. The General Secretary has also not visited the workers to give concrete solidarity to workers. It is this abandonment of workers by these key leaders of NUCFRLANMPE that has emboldened the management to unleash more attacks. We also call on Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to intervene in the struggle. Nigerian workers in Mouka need all the solidarity to defeat vicious management.
Comrade Rufus Olusesan
Comrade Chinedu Bosah
National Publicity Secretary
CDWR email: [email protected]
A Call for Solidarity Protest Messages
Armed Police invaded the Mouka company, Ikeja, this morning (August 13) to arrest the Branch Chairman of the National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber, Leather and Non-Metallic Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), comrade Adeyemi Johnson and 10 other workers for embarking on a strike action over victimisation of workers and agitation for improved working conditions.
They are currently detained at Area F Police Command, Ogba, Lagos.
The Campaign for Democratic and Workers’ Rights (CDWR) appeals to activists, trade union leaders, socialists, workers and the general public to send protest messages to the Area F Police Commander, Lagos State Commissioner of Police and the Managing Director of Mouka Foam Limited demanding the immediate and unconditional release of the detained workers and meeting the demands of the striking workers.
Managing Director of Mouka Ltd, Raymond Murphy: 09035819502
Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu: 08065668179
Area F Commander: 08035865843
For more details about the struggle of Mouka workers:
CDWR email: [email protected]