Metro & Crime

We’re treated as slaves, Ogun Assembly casual workers cry

About 53 casual workers at the Ogun State House of Assembly have expressed frustration over the treatment given to them by the Assembly.

 

The workers, some of whom have been working at the Assembly for six to 10 years under the status of casual workers, lamented their condition of service without any hope of getting incorporated into full civil service.

 

New Telegraph reliably learnt that a large number of the casual workers earn N12,500 monthly stipends, while the “lucky” few earn N15,000 monthly. Many of the casual staff with university degrees, Higher National Diploma (HND), National Diploma (ND) and O’Level certificates were employed as drivers, cleaners, watchmen, and in some cases personal and office assistants.

 

“Despite our status at the Assembly, a large chunk of the day-to-day job depends on us,” a fe male casual worker told New Telegraph. Our correspondent, who visited the Assembly complex at Oke-Mosan, saw a list of casual workers placed on the notice board.

 

The list indicated the names, duty posts, sig- natures and amount paid to each of casual workers in the last four months. A number of the workers expressed frustration over what they termed as slavery at the Assembly.

 

They expressed concern that the management of the Assembly was not concerned about their job status, despite several appeals for consideration and conversion into the full service. “We are helpless. I have spent seven years on the casual worker status already and there is no hope.

 

“Many people have been working since 2003. At different times, under Rt Titi Oseni as the Speaker, and Hon Suraj Adekumbi was there for eight years. Nothing has been done to upgrade our status. And the present Speaker, Hon. Olakunle  Oluomo, has spent nearly two years already,” one of them said.

 

Others said the Assembly Service Commission and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had been notified of their plight, but nothing was done about it.

 

They appealed to Governor Dapo Abiodun to grant them permanent employment in view of the years they had put into the service of the Assembly.

 

Recalling how Abiodun had recently absorbed five casual workers in the Ministry of Special Duties into the State Civil Service, they urged him to extend the magnanimity to them.

 

Reacting to their situation, the state NLC Chairman, Comrade Emmanuel Bankole, described casualisation as modern slavery which would not be tolerated. Bankole said he had been intimated with the challenge of the casual workers at the Assembly, and promised to engage the leadership of the Assembly towards absorbing the workers fully into the service.

 

Also, the Chairman of the state House of Assembly Service Commission, Hon. Waliu Taiwo, confirmed the development. Taiwo said members of the commission were inaugurated recently but the plight of the casual workers was discussed during the inaugural meeting of commission.

 

He said: “Members of the commission just came in recently and at the inaugural meeting, we were briefed about it. So, we are aware. “I cannot say exactly what we are going to do. But we have to address the issue. We are still studying the situation.”

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