Reprieve has come the way of sacked workers of two comatose textiles companies in Kaduna as shareholders agreed to offset outstanding salaries and gratuities of the workers to the tune of N313 million.
The payment, BusinessDay gathered, would be made in installments.
The two textile factories, Finetex and Nortex had been closed down ten years ago, with hundreds of their workers asked to go home, while a backlog of salaries arrears and other entitlements, running into millions of naira remained unsettled.
The Secretary General of the National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria, Issa Aremu, who dropped the hint about the new development, assured the anxious workers that justice had finally come their way.
Addressing workers of the two firms in Kaduna , Aremu asked them to be calm as according to him, the long battle has been won.
He disclosed that the union had already entered into agreement with the owners of the two companies on the issue, stressing that their entitlements would be settled soon.
According to him, out of the N305 million in gratuities owed the workers, the owners of the companies have agreed to make a part payment of N250 million, and offset the total sum of N63 million salaries arrears of the workers.
“It took us ten years to get to this level, and if I tell you the amount of resources this union has spent, both time and money, in court cases because since the companies closed, people thought we had no sympathy for workers. It was when the companies closed that we should even have more sympathy for workers and members. And that is why we kept on with this struggle,” Aremu said.
“We pray that FINETEX, NORTEX must come back to business, not only must you be paid your benefits, you must also return to the family of national union of textiles. I said so because for those factories which are remaining, I can proudly say that the national union of workers has never rested to keeping on pursuing their rights, and increasing their salaries every year. Recently we signed 18 percent increase in wages, not only that, we have also brought back gratuity which was initially removed because of the contributory scheme.”