Julius Berger says 7, 800 workers on redundancy paid entitlements

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Julius Berger, a construction giant, says it has paid the entitlements of 7,800 workers affected by the redundancy exercise in the company.

Alhaji Zubairu Bayi, the Director (Administration), said this during a news conference on Wednesday in Abuja.

Bayi, however, said that four of the workers refused to collect their entitlements.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the workers are in dispute with the company over the sack of more than 7, 200 of them in 1999 without paying their entitlements.

The workers sought the National Assembly’s intervention in the matter through a petition to prevent the company from evicting them from their apartments in their various camps.

However, Bayi said that officially, no Julius Berger workers were resident in the camps in line with the legally served quit notices.

“This in compliance with the legally served quit notices and mutual agreement with the workers through their union to vacate the camp by Nov. 30, 2016.

“Housing benefits are given to staff by the terms and conditions of service.

“Accommodation of staff on the camp is an add-on for which no financial benefit is received by Julius Berger and only a token of N5,000 paid towards services provided such as light, water, sanitation and security.’’

The director said that the company was not satisfied with the condition of the over 30-year-old camps.

He said that the company planned to re-develop the camps for effective use, claiming that they were currently being occupied “predominantly by unknown persons”.

On the court case, Bayi said that the matter was at the Supreme Court.

“The substantive suit is yet to commence.”

On the denial of access to the members of the House Committee on Petitions to visit Julius Berger Management Camps in Gwarinpa, Bayi said that the company did not receive advance notification

“The petition received by the committee was in respect of the camps occupied by the junior staff. Different cadre of staff have different accommodation benefits.

“Furthermore, the Gwarinpa Management Camp is occupied by tenants who legally and contractually are entitled to quiet possession.

“Prior notice would have enabled Julius Berger arrange inspection in accordance with the contractual obligations between parties,’’ he said.

NAN reports that House Committee members visited the Julius Berger labour camps at Kubwa and Life Camp in Abuja for an on-the-spot assessment of the situation on Monday but were denied access to the Management camp where the Germans reside. (NAN)

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