By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Ligali Abdul-Lateef
NO fewer than 1500 workers of Lacasera Company Plc , makers of Lacasera soft drink and other consumable, have been sacked following unionisation of staff dispute with the National Union of Food Beverage and Tobbacco Employees, NUFBTE .
While the officials of NUFBTE and workers were seen gathered at the Amuwo Odofin Industrial Estate, Mile 2 in Lagos premises of the company yesterday vowing not to leave until the workers were recalled and all pending issues resolved, the management on its part, said it shut operations over alleged invasion by hoodlums.
However, Vanguard gathered that the Indian- owned company which started operation in Nigeria in 2000, has been having a running battle with NUFBTE over unionisation of workers since 2004.
It was gathered before now that the union had approached the Ministry of Labour and Productivity for mediation, while the management dragged the Union to the National Industrial Court, NIC.
The case is still pending at the NIC.
However, it was gathered that the latest dispute started when the management sacked the elected chairman of the in-house union when officials of the in-house union were about to be inaugurated.
The sack, according to source, was what led the NUFBTE officials to visit the company on Friday, September 11 to address the workers, which the management described as invasion by hoodlums.
Leaders of the union yesterday told Vanguard that they would continue to occupy the gate of the company until all pending issues were resolved.
An unsigned notice pasted on gate of the company dated September 14 and addressed to all staff stated that “as a result of the unwarranted breaking-in and invasion of our business premises on September 11, we cannot guarantee the well-being of our employees from hired hoodlums and their collaborators. As a result of this unprovoked act of vandalism, we are unable to continue operations Unfortunately, we regret to inform all our staff of their immediate disengagement.”