By Shola AmodemajaÂ
The leadership of the organized labour in hotels and hospitality industry, operating under theÂ Â umbrella of Hotel and Personal Services Senior Staff Association (HPSSSA) and National Union of Hotels and Personal Services Workers
(NUHPSW) have described Federal Palace Hotel (FPH) as a slave camp for Nigerian workers.
The workers called on Federal Government, the Senate and Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and others to rescue workers and customers from the nefarious activities of the management following their offering of expired products to innocent customers.
The Acting General Secretary of the union, Comrade Gbenga Isola, who made this known recently in Lagos decried the anti-labour operation of the management.
Isola stated that the union has written a petition to the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, Lagos State House of Assembly, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to inform them of the anti-labour practices and life endangering happenings in the hotel.
In the petition signed by Acting General Secretary, Comrade Gbenga Isola and Comrade Usman Mohammed, the Principal General Secretary for NUHPSW, the union noted that since there is a limit to human endurance, they might be pushed into taking action against the hotel.
Part of the protest letter read: â€œYour Excellency, it is our bedrock of hardship that the Nigerian workers in this establishment are crying unto you to arise and save their souls as a matter of urgency from this slave camp.
â€œSir, it will interest you to know that the union has consistently been rebuffed by the management as no request of the union ever receive favourable answer. For example, the first workers day of May 1, 2015, workers in the hotel were not allowed take part in it.
â€œThey are breaching employee compensation Act 2014 by refusing to negotiate conditions of service for entire staff, thus subjecting them to harsh conditions, none provision of health and safety equipment and training for the workers.
â€œIllegal deduction of N7,341.16 from each staff salary since December 2014, amounting to N200 million. Zschlater, one of the outsourcing firms for the hotel does not have recruiter license. None remittance of deducted tax to the appropriate Pension Fund Administrators (PFA) for years, disregard to local content Act, there is abuse of quota system by having 18 expatriates, even the human resources manager, Mr. Matlala Bogoshi is a South African in a country where we have many qualified people.
The unions continued â€œExposing guests to health hazard through serving of expired food items that expired since 2011.â€
Efforts by representative of Labour Writers Association to get the reaction of the hotel since Wednesday January 20, 2016 failed and yielded no result.
The Human Resources Manager, Mr Matlala Bogoshi, responding to questions, said he could not speak to the press. â€œBut there is somebody that can speak to you, unfortunately he is not around. But you can mail your questions, so that he will respond to you.â€Â
Rather than giving the mailing address as he promised, he decided to drop his personal mail, saying that he would forward it to him for prompt response. Since Wed Jan 20, 2016 till date, there is no response despite several calls to his office, through the phone number he gave.Â