Thursday, 27 November 2014

Over 100 railway workers to be sacked in Enugu

Over one hundred workers involved in the on-going reconstruction of railway lines linking Port-Harcourt to Makurdi are to be replaced for "absconding from their duty posts".
ESER West Africa Ltd, the construction firm handling the South-East, South-South Railway project for the Federal Government, said the decision became inevitable in order to beat its deadline in line with contract terms.
The legal adviser to the company, Barr. Henry Okoro, who disclosed this in Enugu, said the workers disappeared from the project sites more than one week ago.
He said the action of the workers was strange as they did not give any notice of strike to the ESER management, adding that spirited efforts made to get the workers, led by one Samson, to a round table discussion hit the brick wall.
According to him, "As I talk to you, we can't say that the workers are on strike because there was no notice to that effect. The law provides for a mandatory 14 days notice, but in this case, there was no such thing.
"The only thing we saw was that the leader of the workers' union mobilized other persons and they made the workers to abscond from their duty posts.
"Ever since this happened, several invitations have been sent to them so that we can have a dialogue, but they refused to show up. Even the DPO of Railway Police Division, and the Area Commander have invited them for dialogue, but they have remained inaccessible".
Okoro, while commending the Federal Government for consistently living up to its own terms of the contract, said the company would not wait forever, but had to recruit fresh workers to meet up with the deadline.
He said, "as a good corporate body, we owe the public some explanation to avoid rumour mongering, because there have been speculations; so we want to set the records straight.
"We cannot remain inactive forever; we have to replace the workers who absconded from duty because we don't know where they are and the reason why they absconded.
"The only thing we understand from this is that few persons, out of their selfish reasons, convinced the workers to abandon their duty posts".
He further lamented that the action of the workers had cost the company millions of naira.



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