9 May 2014

Nigeria: VW Sacks Striking Workers

Lagos — VOLKSWAGEN (VW) Nigeria has reportedly dismissed 25 workers after they stayed away from work alleging poor working conditions.

The protest was held last week.

Some of the workers who spoke to journalists on condition of anonymity said they were dismissed for protesting against the content of the Von Automobile Company Policy Manual, that allegedly disregard their rights.

They also lamented the alleged poor medical attention given to staff while allowances were hardly paid.

"Payment of medical allowance should be made to all employees. Gratuity should be paid to an employee who has served the company continuously for a period of one full calendar year and above.

"This month makes it exactly three years I have been working at the assembly plant yet I have not received gratuities. There are no medicals and the canteen is horrible," said one of the workers.

Another affected worker said, "We work for 6 days a week, which is against the law. Our staff bus is inadequate despite that we assemble buses. In addition, we have been on the same salary for three years."

The workers demand amongst other things a review of the new company policy manual that demands a six-month notice before any worker can resign.

"Why should we give six months notice before we can resign? What we know is 1 month notice, it is a broad day manipulation and injustice to our rights," another worker who said he was dismissed, said.

The workers also demand yearly bonuses , annual salary increment, and three-warning notice to be given to any staff before dismissal as well as rest on the weekends.

The company, whose officials were not available for comment, was said to have issued a sack letter to the workers for alleged insubordination.

Spokesperson of the Joint Action Front (JAF), Abiodun Aremu, a coalition of Nigerian Pro-Labour Civil Society Organizations, said the grievance of the workers were valid.

He urged VW to accede to their request instead of terminating the appointment.

"We will assist the sacked workers to seek legal remedy if they are not reinstated by the company."

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