…Point French national as chief offender
…Raise complain to Shippers Council
Ben Eguzozie, in Port Harcourt
Nigerian staff in the employ of a shipping and logistics firm in Lagos, CGM-CMA Ltd have alleged anti-labour practices orchestrated by harassment and intimidation by the company. They said the act has continued unabated despite several complaints they raised to the Police and the Shippers Council (NSC).
CMA-CGM is into shipping logistics and located at Leventis Building #2, Wharf Road, Apapa, Lagos.
Particularly, the Nigerian workers pointed a French national, David Castex, a senior staff of the company, who they accused is the chief architect of the harassment.
The Nigerian staff said they have received worse inhuman treatment by CMA-CGM since the arrival of David Castex, the company’s finance manager as he has continued to display verbal abuses upon the Nigerian staffs of the organisation.
Castex is accused of engaging in what the staff call anti-labour practices such as deriding them; challenging that they could do him nothing, as their country is a banana Republic without extant labour laws, therefore lacked any labour authority to lay any charges against him.
The workers said they have particularly written to the Lagos State commissioner of Police where they laid their complaint about all forms of human rights abuses they face from the company, especially at the hands of its senior officer, the Frenchman. They allege that Castex mock them, and keeps boasting that their country cannot do him anything.
The staff who begged that their identities should not to be mentioned in the press for fear of being further intimidated, or outright sack, said: “we are dedicated staff of CMA-CGM, we’re anxious at ensuring the best for our organization concerning labour practices in our country. We wish to inform your office of the inhuman treatment exhibited by Mr David Castex, a French national and senior staff of CMA-CGM Ltd.”
“He exhibits this attitude with so much impunity; and we are worried that this situation will affect our morale and productivity to work. Mr David Castex has boasted in the company that Nigeria is a banana Republic without labour laws; and that he will operate in a disorderly manner because he knows there is no law that will be used to investigate him since he is a white man,” the Nigerian staff alleged.
The workers said they were worried that the behaviour was not good for the country’s image, the reason why they were bringing the matter to the nation’s law enforcement agencies “for your information and necessary action.”
They said they have also appealed to the Shippers Council about the inhuman molestation upon the Nigeria staff of CMA-CGM by the company, especially Castex, who appears to be very influential and dreaded in the shipping logistics company. “We humbly appeal to you to use your good office to investigate this anti-labour activities perpetuated by CMA-CGM, especially by Mr Castex,” the workers said in their petition.
Our correspondent called up CMA-CGM’s official line to get the company’s reactions to the allegations. A lady who answered the called only provided emails with which to reach the company’s human resources manager for enquiries. The mails are: email@example.com and copy to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
When Business A.M. sent mails sent to the two email addresses, the following response was received from one Aitalegbe Benedicta: “I will be out of the office from 22nd March 2021 to 13th April 2021, and will have limited access to my mails during this period. If you need immediate assistance during my absence, please contact the following: Legal/Insurance/Claims and Admin related issues – Simbiat Ilelaboye – email@example.com.
The above alternative email and personnel could not respond to the newspaper’s enquiry.