Ogun workers quit Chinese factory, protest colleagues’ death

Ogun workers quit Chinese factory, protest colleagues’ death

Workers of a Chinese-owned recycling plant which got burnt in Abule Ododo, Papalanto-Ilaro Road, Ogun State, have protested against the death of their colleagues by resigning from the company.

PUNCH Metro observed that the workers, numbering about 50, demanded justice for the deceased workers.

Our correspondent had reported that the recycling company went up in flames on Sunday when the lid of a charged machine fell, leading to an explosion.

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Three factory workers on duty were reportedly burnt to death, while some sustained varying degrees of injury.

During our reporter’s visit to the company on Tuesday, their colleagues were seen at the entrance of the firm looking sad.

Around 1.48pm, the workers stormed the company’s premises, saying they were no more working for the firm.

Although PUNCH Metro was not allowed to enter the premises, one of the workers revealed that the Chinese firm appealed to them not to go.

He said, “A traditional ruler also appealed to us to be calm that the company would pay for the work we had done this month.

“The monarch also promised that the company would do something to ensure that those that were victims were compensated.

“The Chinese also appealed to us and promised to turn a new leaf. But I am leaving this place whether they like it or not.”

The workers told our correspondent that the management of the company should be held responsible for the fire incident that led to the death of their colleagues.

They alleged that the management locked them inside the premises during the incident to shield it from the public.

One of the workers, Chukwu Nwokolo, said they were asked to fetch water with buckets and put out the fire.

Nwokolo said his colleagues lost their lives while escaping from the explosion, which destroyed almost all the machines in the company.

He said, “What happened was an unfortunate situation; it was really wickedness from the company.

“When the fire happened, they asked us to be using buckets to get water to put out the fire. We tried a lot, but we still lost our colleagues.

“People that died were more than three; some were burnt beyond recognition, and till now the fire has not been put out.

“Chinedu was one of those that died. He was a popular person in the factory. It happened all of a sudden, nobody thought that would happen.”

Another worker, Tolu Aderibigbe, alleged that the company had been maltreating them before the incident.

When our correspondent tried to enter the premises, a man who was later identified as a supervisor, said the management could not attend to the media.

The Ogun State Commissioner for the Environment, Ola Oresanya, said the company would be sealed after the fire was put out.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, said he was not aware of the incident.

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