Thursday, 21 March 2013

We have no voice! Help Us!

So today I planned to regale you with a post on the Dabbawala service of the Indian people when one of my baby girls came in to the office. (Don't worry, that is coming up)

So we did a little catching up.

In between somehow (yes, I know it is repitition, but it sounds good) we started talking about employers that are fraudulent.
She told me her story.
She worked in an energy company as a company secretary.
First it started as a whisper 'the company had not paid salaries in 8 months' But at the end of the month she received her salary. Then the whispers became murmurs. She began to fret and worry if her great plan of joining this company had been a good decision.
But why did they have this problem?

She just signed agreements on behalf of the company to purchase a property worth billions of naira. And did they just not buy a vessel to cargo their energy products? How could a company who hired people with family and bills decide arbitrarily to place the needs of the company above that of its staff.
It did not stop there. Rumor also had it that they hold the salary of an employee for months till he leaves and then employ another staff, pay him for a month or two and hold his salary for months till he is forced to leave

I was incensed.
This was mordern day robbery? (If you are sinister, it is quite brilliant)

Was there no regulatory agency to monitor the acts of the various employers?

Hers is not the only weird story I have heard in a while.

I have heard MD's terminating employments because a staff refused to be part of his fraudulent activities.

I have heard Management deduct from salary arbitrarily.

I have heard about Management that verbally abuse employees and in some cases do bodily harm to the employees.
But can they speak? No! If they get sacked, how would they find a job in this bad economy. They are struggling to pay school fees, pay rent, and the thought of buying a vehicle is increasingly becoming a mirage?

So I checked the Labour Act, the foremost legislation meant to regulate employer/employee relationship. Despite the fact that it is an ancient Act, I was more pissed by the penalties of N500.00 (five hundred naira) or eight hundred naira listed as punishments for defaulters. How is this law not given appropriate attention?

 I silently wonder when the national assembly will eventually get to reviewing the Act.

Before then , I guess the people who don't know what their rights are will be treated unfairly by men who think that because the own the business they own our lives.
Lets hope you and I will make a difference when we become employers of labour.
Treat everyone with respect!

1 comment:

  1. You know the worst hit? when its a one man show. "One man company" like we like to call it. no policies, often times no benefits. I work for a firm in the Telecom industry (also one man show) we don't have any pension plan, health, 13th month, nothing. We don't even go on leave not to mention the allowance, we only just close for the year around Dec 22. all we get is the basic salary. Its a big shame our 'suppose' leaders are blinded towards this.