A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Striking Indian workers hold DSC director hostage

Emma Amaize

6 October 2011, Sweetcrude, Warri – The Indian workers of the Delta Steel Company (DSC), Ovwian, Delta State, who have been on hunger strike since last month, held the Executive Director, Operations, Mr. S. Brandari, also an Indian, hostage for more than six hours on Wednesday.
Sweetcrude learnt that the angry workers laid siege to Bandari’s official residence and prevented him from leaving.

“Their anger was that DSC management refused them access to the official bus that carry them from their residential quarters to the company’s premises, where they sit on the floor at the administrative building to press home their demand.

“They suspected that the reason for stopping the bus from conveying them to and from office was to break their resolve to continue with the protest.

“So, today (yesterday), they marched to the home of Brandari, the Indian occupying the highest management at the company, who they accused of undermining their peaceful demonstration.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian workers did not allow their compatriots at the management level entry into their offices. This may have led to the withdrawal of the vehicle.

However, the decision to deprive the protesting workers of the staff bus appeared to have worsened the situation.

It will be recalled that about 16 Indian workers, who resigned their appointments few months ago, commenced hunger strike last month over failure of the company to pay them off. They were joined by other Indians last week.

It was gathered that since security agents, believed to be from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stormed the company some months ago over alleged tax fraud, the chairman of the company,
Mr. Prammod Mittel, an Indian, had not visited the place.

Acting Public Affairs Manager of the company, Mr. Kes Agbosa, could not be reached, yesterday, for comments.

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