According to reports making the rounds online, Dangote Cement PLC, One of the largest cement producing factory owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has fired more than 3,000 of its workers without prior notice.
The company started the process of expelling about 80 percent of it’s staff on June 17 without explanation.
In a viral “Termination of appointment” letter reportedly from the HR of the company to terminated staff, the affected staff were asked to stop work on 19th June, 2020 without any explanation.
According to Sahara reporters, A source in the company said they continued to work in overtime mode irrespective of COVID-19 restrictions placed on all Nigerian businesses due to Dangote’s association with President Muhammadu Buhari.
The source said.
“At the beginning of the year, they did an appraisal, it was supposed to be for a promotion and then the pandemic struck”.
“When the pandemic struck, people were thinking that is when he will sack people but nothing like that happened as a matter of fact, the people that they have compulsory leave because of the pandemic were ordered back after just five days”.
“Everyone was recalled back to work despite the lockdown and at that time they were pushing out trucks of cement around 500 to 600 everyday.
“People were working overtime because it is owned by Dangote, his trucks were exempted from COVID-19 restrictions, so they forced people to work overtime like 12 yours everyday morning and night. The country was beginning to reopen little by little and then the next thing was sack.”
Also According to Sahara reporters, A victim of the mass sack told them on Friday that he was at his duty post working like usual when he was called and forced to sign a letter of termination of appointment without prior warning or due process.
He said, “As I speak to you, more than 3,000 people are being sacked. You will be at your duty post and they will call you and give you a letter, nobody knew, no prior notice”.
“As a matter of fact, after the appraisal at the start of the year, many of us were given recommendations to be promoted to manager and other positions within the organisation” .
“I was at my duty post, I got a call from the admin and when I got there, they gave me a letter and said I should sign the original collected by me, you cannot argue with anybody”.
“As a matter of fact, the Head of Materials and Maintenance, Engr Basil, he has only nine people in his unit. He force them to cover the whole of the facility because they have to create evaluations for materials and make reservations for maintainace so when was asked to submit the names of nine people in his department to sack, when he refused explaining to upper management that he was already understaffed and taking out anyone will make the work to suffer. They gave him an ultimatum of 24 hours to submit names from his team for sack and when he refused to do it after it elapsed, he was sacked along with his team.”
“We are not allowed to have any union, the day anyone starts it is the day we will all go. You cannot try it at all. ”
“Overtime is usually paid the next month, now we are worried that we might not get paid for the overtime we did in June despite the pandemic. Because of the way the company works, we are even worried that they may not even be paid June salary,” he added.