29 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, WARRI- THE entire Indian workforce of the troubled Delta Steel Company, DSC, Delta State, yesterday, down tool over hitches in payment of their salaries by management.
The workers marched to the administrative block of the company yesterday morning to make know their grievances and compelled their compatriots who did not initially want to join the protest to join the bandwagon.
However, their Nigerian counterparts did not join the protest, as in the words of one of them, “An average Indian here earns five times what his Nigerian counterpart earns and so, there is practically no need for us to join them in their strike action. It is like we are working in the same company but different rules of engagement for the workers”.
It was learnt that some of protesting Indian workers were being owed between three months to six months, while others are owed for upwards one year and more.
Yesterday’s action by DSC Indian workers is different from the hunger strike embarked upon by 16 of them who had voluntarily resigned and asked managemnt to pay their entitlements to enable them return back to their country.
Efforts to get the response from the management, yesterday, proved abortive, but the Acting Public Affairs Manager of the company, Mr. Kes Agbosa, who spoke to Vanguard, Tuesday, on on the total hunger strike by Indian wokers disclosed that some of the workers had been paid their entitlements.
He said the action of the Indian workers was embarassing to the company, pointing out that Mr. Ashok Bhute who declared declared a total hunger strike till death on Monday, was paid his entitlements, last Saturday, two days before his latest action.
According to him, “Those who have not been settled will be paid their entitlements in the shortest possible time, the number is decreasing and I don’t see why they should embark on this kind of action against the company”.