Home / Business / Costain workers picket company,seek SEC, trade union, others’ intervention over unpaid salaries

Costain workers picket company,seek SEC, trade union, others’ intervention over unpaid salaries

Things seem not to be going well for the management of Costain (West Africa) as workers have down tools.
In demonstration of their displeasure over an alleged incorrigible treatment of workers by the management of Costain Plc., the staffs of the firm has called for the intervention of the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC), Trade Union, Pension Fund Administrators and the federal government concerning their plight. 
The aggrieved workers, during a protest and picketation of the company,lamented that the firm has remained recalcitrant in responding to payment of previously owed salaries and gratuities, remittance of pension funds, taxes and individual cooperative contributions of workers.
Speaking during the picketing, the chairman of the senior staff construction and allied union association, Ibrahim Opeola accused the chairman of the company, Orikolade Kareem and his vice, Ayodeji Kareem, of fraudulently acquiring the assets of the company to fund theirs, noting that the credibility of the firm has dwindled since the advent of their administration.
He said “the entire workforce is not happy with this company because they have done a lot of damage. Since they have taken it over, they have battered the image of the company to the extent that we don’t get jobs from prospective clients again. We want the Security and Exchange commission to come to our aid and investigate the atrocities they have committed.”
 The vice-chairman of the Junior Staff Union, Mr. Ndidi Onuelu described the management actions as inconsiderate and inhumane. He said: “we have reached several agreements with them and they have not been able to fulfil a single one. They have laid off 500 workers over the period of 7 years and have not paid them. They took our voluntary cooperative contribution of about N22million, our gratuities of over 3years and have refused to pay our pension scheme since April, 2010. I am appealing to all Nigerians, federal government, stakeholders and trade unions to come to our aid.”
Onuelu further noted that several retirees have not been paid up till date as some have died in the course. 

One of the retirees, Emmanuel Atagbozia explained that things have been difficult with his family since retirement. He said: “although at a time, they made a plan to pay our entitlement of 60months, we accepted due to the economy of the country. But as we speak, they only paid four months. So for one to have invested an entitlement that one worked for over 20 years, only for them to just rubbish it. If they can’t pay workers, they should sell it off to people who can manage it, buy the liabilities and pay off workers.”
Meanwhile, efforts to speak with the management proved abortive as workers explained they have absconded the firm for more than two weeks.


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