6 September 2018

Nigeria: 18 Aggrieved Ex-Sanitation Workers in Court Over Entitlements

Eighteen persons who said they are former area managers of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd, Lagos, on Thursday filed a suit against the sanitation company over unlawful termination of employment without payment of their entitlements.

The suit, marked NICN/LA/462/2018, before the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court, was filed on their behalf by their counsel, David Fadile.

The aggrieved claimants are: Olakunle Jolayemi, Parkinson Akenuwa, Elizabeth Olatunji, Damilola Owoaje, Remi Akinsuyi, Amiohu Abraham, Anthony Otagba, Ajayi Gbenga, Remi Kola-Abiola and Jane Agwuocha.

Others include: Adewale Oluwole, Oladipo Itanola, Adeyanju Olugbade, Andy Owo, Ademuyiwa Idowu, Julius Femi, Abubakar Kolapo and Borroffice Yemi.

In their statement of claim, the claimants averred that they began their careers as employees of Visionscape Sanitation Solutions Ltd effectively on April 1, 2017, in their respective local government areas of Lagos State.

They stated that during their engagement at the sanitation company, the defendant did not give them any leave or vacation, contrary to the stipulations in their job offer letters.

They said that they worked for seven days every week, including public holidays, because of the demand of their job for the purpose of achieving a cleaner Lagos being the overriding objective of their employer.

However, sometime in April, after they lodged a complaint regarding some of their due allowances, the defendant terminated their employment without due process, they said.

The aggrieved claimants are asking the court to declare that the termination of their employment was null and void, because "it is contrary to Section 10 (1) of the Employee Handbook of the Employer and Labour laws of the federation.

"The Section states that they are entitled to all their allowances and benefits to the sum total of N7.5 million each and N1 million, being costs of the suit.

"That the claimants are still in the employment of the defendant, the defendant having not complied with the provisions in the Employers' Handbook.

"That the claimants are entitled to their salaries accruable to them from the date their appointment was wrongfully terminated, till when judgment would be delivered in the suit."

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the case has not been assigned to a judge and Visionscape has not filed their counter-affidavit.

NAN also reports that while the claimants counsel was filing the suit, some aggrieved staff were outside the court's gate with placards asking the sanitation company to pay their entitlements.

On the placards were: "Visionscape, we are waste workers, don't treat us like waste".

One of the aggrieved staff, Olakunle Jolayemi, who spoke with journalists, urged the Lagos State Government to come to their aid. (NAN)

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