2:11 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

160 Ericsson Nigerian Staff Replaced By Indians; Who Protects Us?

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Ericsson replaced 160 Nigerians with Indians

While companies have the exclusive rights to detect how they run their organizations, it is disheartening to hear that foreign organizations in Nigeria have formed the habit of indiscriminately ill-treating or completely dismissing their Nigerian staff in favor of foreign expatriates without any penalty. Take for example how Ericsson replaced 160 Nigerians with Indians without anyone calling them to order.

But what is more sad is the fact the we run a government who cannot be bothered about the plight of its citizens in spite of the fact that they claim to hold reigns of power for the people.

This makes you wonder what the purpose of the Nigerian labor congress (NLC) and/or all the other bodies who’s primary reason for existing in the first place is to defend the rights of the people.

Go through the Nigerian labor law (NLL), international comparative legal guide (ICLG) and a whole lot of many other guides and you will find countless number of places where it is categorically stated as to the rights of an employee and how he/she should be treated by the employer.

These laws are supposed to be backed by legal actions from the government on behalf of the people should organizations defaults.

Unfortunately in Nigeria, all of these are theories on paper that the authorities concerned do not as much as pay attention to, let alone lift a finger when their attention is drawn when an organization defaults.

In the recent past, they have been cases of incessant sacking or impromptu dismissal of Nigerian staff by foreign companies namely Airtel Nigeria, MTN under its subsidiary or contractors Bezalee, Federal palace hotel to list but a few.

While in some of the cases, the companies make up cover stories in defense to their actions as alibi against legal actions should the need arise, in some other cases, they are as blatant as dismissing without any justifiable reason.

Shockingly, in a few instances where the Nigerian labor law authorities were contacted, they were silenced by bribe and the matters died natural death with no compensations whatsoever for the affected staff.

Ericsson Nigeria, the local subsidiary of the global telecommunications solutions provider, yesterday disengaged about 160 permanent and outsourced Nigerian workers in its Network Operating Center.

This was included in a letter sent to the affected employees covering 55 permanent and 105 outsourced staff by the Managing Director of the company, Johan Jemdahi where it stated that their dismissal will take effect from 4th of December 2016

“Please be informed that effective December 4, 2016, your position has been declared redundant. We thank you for all your past services to Ericsson. Further information about the redundancy benefits will be communicated to you before the actual termination date.”

Findings show that foreign workers had been recruited to replace the disengaged workers, and knowledge transfer by Nigerian engineers to the new workers was ongoing in the company’s office in India.  Knowledge transfer had been going on since last year when some Indians were brought into the country to study the management of telecommunications infrastructure in Nigeria.

To think that Nigerians who are most time victims of this act are found more intelligent than the people who are been preferred over them is even the more disheartening.

One of the affected workers said that the company was offering the jobs, which involved the monitoring of MTN masts and networks in the country to Indians at reduced costs.

The workers expressed fears that this would be a continuous trend in the telecommunications industry and perhaps other industries if it remained unaddressed by the government.

The employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Company said it was cheaper for the work to be done in India than in Nigeria. “The monitoring of those masts can be done from anywhere. We monitor Abuja, Enugu, Asaba, and Port Harcourt sites from the Lagos office”. What they are now proposing is that instead of monitoring from Lagos, they want to monitor from India.

They have their businesses in Nigeria and are been sustained by the Nigerian economy but think that the benefits should go to some other persons living in other countries and the government of the federal republic of Nigeria as a whole or its law makers do not see anything wrong with this to attract their attention. Instead, they are busy fighting over constituency projects where they are sure of siphoning money.

Incidentally, at least 2 of the companies guilty of this crime (Airtel and MTN) are listed as part of the companies Ericsson manages and this only seems to me like a conspiracy theory by these companies to continually abuse the rights of Nigerians knowing the government do not care enough to pay attention let alone respond to any form of injustice meted out to the people.

Source; punchng.com, www.businesspost.ng, www.iclg.co.uk

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