LAGOS — The Lagos State Government, yesterday, promised to re-open the United Nigeria Textiles Plc, Ikorodu after workers of the company stormed Alausa to protest the continued closure.
The mill was closed by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, over environmental pollution.
Led by Comrade Issa Aremu,General Secretary and other leaders of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, NUTGTWN, the aggrieved workers said the owners of the company were threatening to sack over 4000 of them and shut down the mill permanently.
The protesting workers who besieged the LASEPA office in Alausa to demand the re-opening of the factory, declared that the management had 95 per cent complied with LASEPA demands.
Vanguard gathered that the Commissioner of Environment at close door meeting with the leaders of the union promised that the factory would be re-opened between yesterday and today.
Vanguard learnt that the union leaders pledged to ensure that the management of the company continued to operate according to LASEPA’s requirements.
The General Manager of LASEPA, Engr. Adebola Shabi, who acknowledged that the management had complied with about 96 percent of the LASEPA’s demands, had earlier promised to recommend to the Commissioner for the re-opening of the factory.
He however warned that officials of the agency would be visiting the factory monthly to assess the situation especially the discharge of pollutants to Ibeshe River.
Addressing the aggrieved workers who displayed several placards to drive home their plea, Comrade Aremu, who is also a Vice President of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, lamented that the factory was closed since July 26 and since then, over 10,000 direct and indirect workers employed by the firm, had been suffering.
According to him, “On Union’s side, we have been monitoring the situation with repeated calls and visits to the factory. On the 5th of August 2011, the Union wrote an appeal to His Excellency, Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN on the need to reopen the factory and save the jobs of over 3,000 workers.”
-BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
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