I always read peoples reactions to the Dangote saga with a broken and upset heart. In as much as freedom of speech is given to everyone, I think only people who are informed should speak. I say so because so many people are misled by these ill-informed chaps!
For starters, I have worked for Dangote for over 30 months (two and half years) as a qualified Engineer with experience. I hold a BEng and affiliated with EIZ in regular standing. We have had serious problems vis-a-vis labour and I will quote from two letters we, my colleagues and I, wrote to Management which have not been addressed until now. You can find these letters in the HRM department.
On the 18th of March, 2014 we wrote the following:
We are more than eager to dialogue with you over this matter but we retain our resolve for better salaries and this should reflect in decent increments. We love this company so much and refuse to believe that Dangote Industries Zambia Limited cannot afford to give its workers decent wages and bonuses. We further refuse to use ‘Construction-stage’ as a scape-goat for poor working conditions.· We have no medical cover· We are not entitled to gratuity· We are subjected to unsafe working condition – no safety attire to cover all workersAll these are in violation of the employment act but we have kept the faith. Kindly urgently look into this matter as our current earning levels do not enable us to meet half our food basket for the month.
And on the 4th of April, 2014 we wrote:
We have received your letters dated 14th March, 2014, with the subject being SALARY INCREMENT, with great disappointment and disapproval.
Not only does the increment fall short of our expectations, it is a classic of example of what mockery is. How does someone benefit from an increase of 0.1%? This, by all judgment, is equal to zero. Therefore, we refuse to be mocked, in any way, especially through such letters and increments. Such letters will only diminish our morale and show your lack of appreciation for our esteemed service to this company.
It should be placed on record that what we expect is nothing less than a 20% incrementacross the board as it has been applied already to other members of staff. After all we have put in, the attention to detail-the structures bear us witness, we deserve better than being mocked.
By copy of this letter, the Head of Accounts Department is advised not to adjust our salaries until our concern is resolved.
Get it from me, Dangote Industries (Zambia) Limited is being run by a group of Indians who are not only uneducated (I have seen their EIZ applications) but are only interested in making a profit at the expense of Zambians and the environment. I can give all the documents to this fact. Let me end by saying: It’s a shame that we have sold our country to Nigerian conmen. After 50 years of independence, what a shame!!