The staff of a popular paints products, Berger Nigeria Plc., have begun staging a peaceful protest in front of the company’s headquarters, chanting various songs and displaying placards to show their unhappiness with the management of the company who they said reneged on an agreement earlier reached between the staff union and the management of the organization.
reporters who were at the protest spoke with the secretaries of the junior and
senior staff of the organization. However, no management staff was on site, as the workers claim that the management staff have not been seen in the premises since Monday when the protest began.
According to Comrade Bode Olaniyan, Junior Staff Union Secretary, the protest was staged, “due to unpaid gratuity of workers. This is what we collect to go and start a new life after leaving this place. Unfortunately, Berger paints management suddenly said that they have stopped our gratuity, and this does not augur well with workers. Despites all the laws of the land, both Nigeria’s labour law and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria is against such policy, they are still adamant on their position.”
Two years ago, we had a new board chairman and a new MD, and since they have stepped in, the peace of Berger paints has gone. They are thieves. They came to destroy what some people have laboured for, so that is why you see workers this morning showing their grievances.”
Olaniyan said that despite all avenue the workers sort to resolve the crisis, the management refused to yield to their demands. He said, “On April 23rd of this year, there was a tripartite agreement which was reached and signed. The ministry of labour, the association of the management of Berger paints, and our own association signed an agreement that the payment of gratuity should continue, but despite the signed agreement, they are still adamant. We asked them why they went back on the agreement, and they said it is the board’s decision. We had to let them know that all decisions are subject to Nigeria’s labour law and the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria.”