The crisis in Delta Steel Company, DSC, Plc, Aladja, Delta State over non-payment of salaries took a worse dimension, Tuesday morning, when furious workers locked out the Indian staff that reported for duty.
With the development, some Nigerian workers who were already inside the premises found ways to escape to avoid the wrath of their angry colleagues, who also prevented other workers from gaining access.
The protest, which started on Monday, was planned for penultimate week, but rescheduled due to unforeseen circumstances, but the situation worsened when security men told the workers on Tuesday morning that those willing to work should enter the premises, while those not willing to work should remain outside.
The directive by the security agents infuriated the workers who gathered at the gate, and they vowed that nobody would enter the company until their salaries were paid.
Soon after the vow, the Indian workers, who normally come to work in a convoy of vehicles were sighted and were ordered back, while the executive director, operations, an Indian, who wanted to enter furtively with his car was detected and sent out.
A source explained that workers from grade levels 1-8 and those on contract had been paid their April salary, but those from level eight and above have not been paid, adding, “What the workers are agitating for now is the payment of April and May salaries for those yet to be paid and May for those that had been paid April salary”.
The management issued a circular, promising to pay April salary between Monday, when the strike started and Friday, but one of the workers told Vanguard, “We are not talking about April, we are talking about April and May for those yet to be paid for the two months and May for those that have been paid April salary”.
The chairman of the company, Mr. Pramod Mittel was being expected in Aladja as at the time of this report, while the group Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Nwabuokei was said to be running around to resolve the problem. Acting Group Public Affairs Manager of the company, Mr. Kes Agbosa was not available for comments when Vanguard contacted him.