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Hundreds protest against poor wages, alleged maltreatment at OK Foods

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Hundreds of casual workers yesterday protested against what they described as their pathetic situation at OK Foods, a subsidiary of Olam International Limited, at Toyota bus-stop, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. They alleged short payment of their meager wages and inhuman treatment meted out to them at the company.

Scores of the outsourced workers were also seen at the Fatai Atere, Mushin area of the office, lamenting their predicaments. The workers, who did not disclose their identities for fear of being sanctioned, alleged that the agencies that facilitated their workmanship were unduly deducting their money.

According to them, the casual workers came to OK Foods through different agencies. They were being paid N800 daily while the agencies unduly deducted N400 from their money.

“The actual amount the company pays the workers is N1,200 per day but what gets to us is N800 and what we want is increment in our wages. We protested two years ago but they pleaded with us that it was going to be resolved. Till this moment nothing has been done about it. Many of us are coming from far places to work here, and we are supposed to transport and feed ourselves from the money.

When The Guardian visited the head office at Fatai Atere street, our correspondent was not allowed to speak with either the Public Relations Officer or the Human Resources Manager, but a letter signed by one Mr. Lucky Nwadei was sighted on the wall at the entrance of the company addressed to the aggrieved workers.

It reads: “Management notes with dismay that despite the several communication as well as meetings held before now to address outsource staff on the issues previously raised; they still decided not to enter the factory to work in OK 1 and OK 2 today.

“Management condemns this action totally, especially in the light of the intervention by contractor and some outsource representatives chosen by the outsource themselves to ensure everyone concerned goes in to work. This singular act of ignoring everyone and damning the consequences by the outsource has not gone unnoticed by management.

“We will watch how scenario unfolds from morning shift and thereafter take a stand on whether our current group of outsource staff are interested in working with the company or not. We repeat that a discussion with the outsource representatives has been fixed for February 28 to resolve the outstanding issues and it would be advisable that all outsource go about their duties and wait for the resolutions and decisions reached to be communicated to them on the said date.”


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