By Emmanuel Ande, Yola
One week after The Guardian reported that staff of Adama Beverages Company producers of bottled water and juices owned by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar were sacked for protesting, the dismissal has been reversed.
The reinstated staff are Nuruddeen, Maimuri, Hamman Bello, Idris, Saad and Abdulrazaq.
The protesting workers last week carried placards accused the Indians managing the company for Atiku of molesting Nigerian female workers during working hours and massive sacking of Nigerians replacing them with Indians.
The workers, who called on the ministry of labour and productivity to immediately wade into the inhuman treatment of Nigerian workers on their father’s land, said that the Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mr Francis Vazheparambbil, must be prosecuted in line with the Nigerian laws.
The workers carrying placards with inscription “Indians must go” “we don’t want Indians” “we say no to casualization” “we are not slaves” and many other inscriptions, lamented that Nigerian workers are treated in the company like during the days of the slave trade.
The spokesman of the protesting workers Abdullah Maigida Bello who spoke on behalf of others said, “since the Indians came to manage this company they make us work like slaves in our own country with no commensurate income.”
“Some of us have been on causal list of the company for 12 years, what they do is disengaging and re-engaging without paying.
“Most of the permanent staff including some senior staff appointments were terminated without payment but were converted to contract staff by these Indians.
“The Group Chief Operating Officer Of Priam of Companies that manages Adama Beverages Limited, Mr. Francis Vazheparambbil, has succeeded in bringing Indians from his village to take over the management of the company as permanent staff while we Nigerians who are more educated and qualified were terminated and re-engaged as contract staff,” he stated.
He added, “Even some of the jobs meant for junior staff and casuals have been taking over by this unqualified Indians he brought.”
Also speaking, the chairman of Senior Staff Union of Food and Beverages Staff Union of Nigeria, Adama Beverages Limited Branch, Comrade Puke Jackson, told journalists that some staff were giving query for holding a meeting that did not affect the production of the day.
“We came in as a union to intervene but the management seems to have taken a stand, this has been the problem since Indians took over the company, he has brought a lot of Indians to displaced us Nigerians who are better qualified,” Jackson said.
The Group Chief Operating Officer of the company Mr Francis declined to comment when journalists contacted him, saying” I don’t have any business with the Nigerian journalists. I will not talk to you people.”