From Femi Oyelola, Kaduna
Workers of the closed Arewa Textile Industry, Kaduna yesterday protested the non-payment of their entitlements since its closure in 2004 and vowed that they will resist any attempt to sell-off the company unless they are fully paid.
They workers, who came out in their numbers protested at the entrance of the company following information that the potential buyers were going to visit the company to inspect the facilities.
They protesting workers carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Caveat Emptor, Arewa not for sale, buyers beware” “Payment of Arewa workers benefit not sale of the factory” “resolve all workers issues in Arewa textile before any transactions” among others.
It would be recalled that the factory have been advertised for sale by Chief Hon. D.E Ogona (Chartered Accountants) and Bolarinwa Fabola who are serving as legal advisers of the company.
It would also be recalled that the National Union of Textiles Garment and Tailoring Workers Union of Nigeria (NUTGTWUN) had dragged Chief Ogona and Bola Fabola (Receivers of Arewa Textiles Plc in Receivership) before a Federal High Court in Kaduna, in 2005.
On the 30th June, 2009, the Presiding Judge Justice M.L Shu’aibu ordered that, “that the plaintiff’s members in Arewa Textile Plc (in Receivership) are entitled to their outstanding salaries, allowances and other workers benefits from the receivers before settlement of debenture holders.
“That the defendants are hereby directed to pay the plaintiff’s members in Arewa Textile Plc (in receivership) their outstanding salaries, allowances and benefits.”
According to the Assistant General Secretary of the Textile Workers Union, Comrade Emeka Nkwoala JP who spoke on behalf of the workers, “all we are saying is that the order of the court should be respected; we are not against selling off the factory, but our entitlements should be fully paid first.
“We are calling on prospective buyers to beware of buying the factory unless the entitlements of the workers are paid; we are also calling on Kaduna state government to please intervene in our predicaments.”