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Aluminium workers protest poor working conditions

By Tony Nyong
UYO—Normal activities in the nation’s foremost Aluminium Smelter  Company, ALSCON, now AC-RUSAL, in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State was disrupted as workers, Monday, morning demonstrated within the Company’s premises with playcards, stoping work for close to five hours over poor conditions of service.

The workers have also given the Company’s management a 24 hour ultimatum, which expires tomorrow to replace all the moribund machines that have long packed up and bring in new machines and spare parts to enable them work at normal capacity.

The negotiation for improved conditions of service for workers, according to a staff, who preffered not to be named, since 2008 has met with firm resistance by some key  management staff, a reason, the staff also alledged  may have led some militants, who had earlier sent a letter of warning on the issue, stormed the company quarters and abducted one Mr. Segey, who was then Director, Public Relations.

Other demands of the protesting workers include tax relief, abolition of contract staff in the Production Department and the immediate restoration of the giving of the one tin of milk they use to receive before it was stopped by management, despite the health hazard associated with the job.

The labour Chairman, Mr. Sunny James, who addressed members after an emergency meeting with management pleaded with the workers to go back to work pending when the Wednesday ultimatum expires in the belief that management would urgently look into the demands of the workers.

The company’s Director of Information, could not be reached for his reaction to the development.


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