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Crisis Looms In Chellarams As Staff Kicks Over 46 Sacked Members

Trouble may be brewing in Chellarams Plc, a German company, as the outfit sacked 46 of its Nigerian staff in what they blamed on Nigeria’s economic downturn.

However, the laid off staff who staged a protest on Thursday, March 31, at the premises of the company, located at 110/114, Oshiodi-Apapa expressway, Isolo, Lagos accused the management of the company of operating anti-labour policies. They said that the company did not follow due process in disengaging them.

They alleged that some of the sacked workers, who spoke off records with our correspondent, said that the company has about 60 expatriates holding the management positions like Business Manager, Product Manager and Accountant and alleged that they are all paid in foreign currency, earning as much as $3,000 per month accompanied by other allowances and benefits.

They said that some Nigerian staff that have better qualifications than the expatriates are made to work as casuals and factory workers, or as fork lift operators.

Olarewaju Ganiyu, chairman, National Union of Shops and Distributives, Chellarams chapter, an affiliate of the Nigeria Labour Congress, told our correspondent that he joined the company “as a casual worker, even with his BSC and was receiving meagre pay as salary for years”.

His words: “Some Nigerian staffers of the company were sacked and the management has said point-blank that if there is no appreciable improvement in the finances of the company and the economy of Nigeria, more staffers could be sacked in the next few months”.

Ganiyu lamented that the salary and allowances paid to one expatriate working in the company is enough the pay the salaries and allowances of ten Nigerians Staffers.

Efforts made by Independent to see Prince Yomi Ogunsanwo, the General Manager, who is said to also double as the Public Relations Officer of the company was not successful, as he was said not to be favourably dispose to speaking with a journalist on the issue.