December 17, 2021

Pay our entitlements before selling Arewa Textiles – Ex Textile workers

Say El-Rufai should fulfil campaign promise

By Ibrahim Hassan-Wuyo 

Distressed  former Textile workers in Kaduna State have appealed to the management of Arewa Textile limited to pay their entitlements before selling off the mill.

Recall that Arewa Textile  was closed in 2005 and laid off over 4000 workers who are still hoping to get their entitlements. 

The workers also appealed to Northern Elders and political leaders to intervene in finding solutions to their plights.

During a peaceful protest  at the gate of the defunct textile mill, some of the workers displayed placards with different inscriptions that pleaded for settlement of their entitlements.

“Our husbands have died without being paid their entitlements, “Arewa Textile management don’t abandon us, pay us our entitlements before you sell the factory” ,were some of the messages on their placards.

The former workets reminded Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai of his campaign promises of making case for the revival of the Textile as well as settlement of their entitlements.

The Secretary of the Coalition of closed Textile workers Musa Ibrahim  told the workers that, “the situation we found ourselves is sympathetic. The management have abandoned the workers. We are hearing that governor El-rufai wants to buy the factory. We have no problem with that, but if it is true, we are appealing to the governor to pay our entitlements before taking over the Textile. Over 18 years we have been in this pains and struggle to get our benefits, but without success.”

“We want to remind El-rufai to fulfil his campaign promise of reviving the Textile and pay our gratuities. He told us during his campaign in 2015 that he would make case for the revival of the Textile and pay our entitlements. This is our property until our benefits are paid.”

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“We are here to pray to God and our political leaders to come to our aid and pay our benefits. Over 30,0000 workers laid off from all the Textile industries in Kaduna. We have lost some of our members while they were waiting for their entitlements,” he said. 

The Organising Secretary of National Union of Textiles, Garments and Tailoring Workers Union of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), Comrade Adepoju Fatai said,  “our gathering here today is not in vain. Since 15 years ago over 4000 workers were laid off from Arewa Textile industry.”

“As a union the only power we have is to improve on the welfare of the workers, but since the factory closed in 2005, benefits of workers were not paid. 

“And because of this, we are in court for over 10 years.  Court ruled in  favour of the workers. But management refused to pay. If court gives judgement, it should be obeyed, but reverse is the case. 

“The court  gave judgement for 250 million naira as against 600 million naira being the entire sum of our entitlements. 

“We heard that Kaduna State government wants to take over the company. We are not bothered about the takeover, but pay our benefits. But they cannot sell it without paying our entitlements. Our benefits must be paid. “

“Nothing will be done here until our entitlements are paid. If the management likes, let them come and level us with the caterpillar or bulldozers.  The management never thought it human and our rights to pay our benefits for the past many years ago,” he said.