Trailer drivers of Obajana cement factory in Kogi state have protested over alleged “unfair treatment” by the management of the company.
Speaking with newsmen on Tuesday morning , one of the drivers who identified himself as Ahmadu Sanni, lamented poor treatment of drivers in the factory .
The protest which kick started on Monday morning lingered till the evening as the only asses road leading to Kabba, Ekiti, Ilorin and other towns was blocked in protest against the management of the company.
The drivers who used their trucks to block the major entry routes to Obajana factory site of Dangote were seen demonstrating despite heavy security presence.
The protesting drivers were demanding for the immediate removal of the management over unhealthy industrial practices against them that led to many of the drivers losing their jobs in the transport section of Dangote on flimsy excuses.
Sani alleged illegal deductions from their salaries for flimsy excuses ranging from repairs of vehicles and damage to bags of cement, lamenting that the ill treatment has caused them untold hardship as they were now indebted to the company to the tune of millions of Naira.
“We were being treated like no body in Obajana. Sometimes we have to effect repairs on the trucks with our money to keep our job . The management hardly give us enough fuel whenever we are embarking on long journey. These are part of the problems we are facing here and we want the owner of the company to be in the know of these problems” he said.
“Drivers are arrested for no reason and humiliated because they are drivers. We want this issues addressed without further delay.
“Poor working conditions, Poor renumeration, inhuman treatment of staff are only some of the reasons to the protests and demanded the removal of Head of Transportation, Alhaji Babangida alias Obama.
“We are also complaining of the 5,000 Naira only they gave to us on long journey from where we repair tyres and mechanical faults. We wants the company to be more responsive to the welfare of the staff” he said
He added that the workers want change and hope that their matter will be treated with the urgency it requires.
With the heavy deployment from the Kogi Police Command and the army, the police were able to clear the road by Monday afternoon when Journalists visited to enable motorists and commuters to access the Road.
It was gathered that there had been no loading at the company in the last 24 Hours as the company have been grounded as a result of the massive protests.
Responding, the Head of corporate communications, Dangote group,Tony Chiejina told our correspondent who spoke to newsmen on Phone in Lokoja on Tuesday , stated that the truck drivers were angry over the company’s decision to install anti-theft devices on the trucks.
“They were demanding the removal of such devices to enable them continue to steal fuel from the truck when they were to deliver cements.
“I have never heard of anywhere staff will get angry for installing anti theft devices to prevent fraud and losses to the company”.
“They have been adequately taken care of in terms of renumeration and so the company cannot and will not allow them to continue to steal from the company” he said
By Oyibo Salihu