Nigeria: Workers of Chinese company protest mass dismissals, deaths, injuries attributed to poor work conditions and alleged discrimination; company responds

Disgruntled employees of China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (part of China Railway Construction Corporation) staged a protest over the company's decision to dismiss over 500 employees. Workers also raised concerns about the company's poor safety record, which they claim is to blame for several serious injuries and deaths; and they alleged that extreme disparities in local and expatriate remuneration were due to discrimination. Business and Human Rights Resource Centre invited China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to respond to these allegations: the response and related media item are provided below.

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Company response
23 November 2015

Response of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to allegations of discrimination, poor safety and labour practices in Nigeria

Author: China Civil Engineering & Construction Company (CCECC)

'Response to “Workers Protest Mass Sack in CCECC” published at Daily Independent in Nigeria on 23rd July 2015', 23 Nov 2015: Nigeria’s economy suffered great depression with the continued fall in price of crude oil in the international market since the second half of year 2014; added to this, is the presidential election and change of government resulting in many ongoing projects in the country being forced to suspend or stop work due to lack of payment. Under these circumstances, CCECC Nigeria Limited, like other construction companies, had no option but to reduce its workforce by disengaging some Chinese and Nigerian workers. In the course of doing so, the company compensated disengaged workers in full compliance with relevant local laws, but there were some workers who were not satisfied over the loss of their jobs and resorted to protest. The company then invited the labor union for intervention and resolved the matter appropriately. 

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Article
23 July 2015

Nigeria: Protesting workers at Chinese company say poor safety to blame for serious injuries, deaths; lament discrimination, mass dismissals

Author: Adam Adedimeji, Daily Independent

'Workers protest mass sack in CCECC', 23 Jul 2015: Nigerians working for China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)…marched to…[the] office of the Lagos State Governor, [to] protest…[the dismissal of]  500 workers, inhuman treatment…inability of the organisation to adopt safety measures, unwillingness to compensate both dead and injured workers…and unfriendly working environment...The workers…alluded to a situation last year when one of them fell…from a slab and broke his waist…Speaking on behalf of the workers, Mr. Mark Eze Okila who lost his right arm…working for CCECC, said some of the workers were paid as low as N550 (US$2,7)  per day while the Chinese supervisors…receive as much as N450,000 monthly (US$ 2,260)… “…You will be given appointment without any safety induction certification and at the same time…work…without any safety gadgets…leading many workers to injuries of permanent disability and others even death in the process of working…Now…the company is dropping its workers without any benefit after working…for years…”…the workers said in their petition…

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