On Tuesday this week, on my way to work I encountered a small but vociferous group of protesters. Traffic was disrupted. Closer inspection revealed they were the aggrieved staff of Schlumberger, a multinational oil company. Their bone of contention was over how they are treated, going by the words on their placard. It read, “Slave Labour” as they heavily chanted “Solidarity!”
I would never have thought that one of the world’s leading oilfield services provider, could be guilty of ill-treating staff. Obviously, it’s not news that some multinationals, especially in manufacturing, often treat their staff in Nigeria like slaves. I hear they go as far as carting workers in human trucks as official vehicles, and keeping them hostage on occasion to meet deadlines.
Being a new-to-the-table member of the national labour force, I found this quite disturbing and I am asking where do government come in all of this? Are our labour laws not strong enough to checkmate this? Or is slave labour just a hoax?
Must we always take to the streets before we are heard?
If you are reading this, we would like to know what your thoughts and experiences are, regarding slave labour in Nigeria. Let us help make more jobs in our country rewarding.