Counsel establish facts against Globacom on sack of over 90 femalestaff ...Slams N50b suit on Globacom
A renowned legal practitioner and public interest litigation expert, Tunji Salawu, Esq has given several grounds to why his clients have resolved to drag the Globacom, operators of Glo telecommunications to court.
He also instituted a N50 billion legal action against the suit at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) via suit number (NICN/ABJ/75/2018.
In the statement of facts establishing the cause of action obtained by newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, 20th March, 2018, the sacked female workers pointed out that, they were employed by the Defendants between 2003 and 2008, and have individually put in between average of 7 to 15 years in the employment of the Defendants.
They wondered why dedicated staff who have impacted positively on the fortunes of the company could be sacked with a wave of the hand on the flimsy reason bothering on their marital status.
It could be recalled that, Public Interest Litigation Initiative (PILI) only last week informed of its decision to take up the matter in order to restore and enforce the fundamental human rights of the affected female staff of the telecommunications company.
In that statement, the Executive Director of PILI, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba said: “It is disheartening to hear that these particular set of female staff who have worked very hard to take the company to the height it has attained today could be treated in a needlessly reckless manner. We at PILI find this unacceptable and have taken a legal action to challenge this glitch.
“It is going to be a legal fight to the finish until and unless very urgent and responsible steps are taken by Globacom to restate them back to their various positions with full benefits in addition to paying damages to them for distorting their career path or progress.
The legal statement said the Claimants plead and rely on their various letters of employment as employees in the management cadres at Gloworld department, the retail arm of Globacom Limited with branches and outlets all over Nigeria.
Sections of the statements read: “The Claimants are all married women in the Gloworld Department,
(a customer facing unit) of the Globacom Limited.
“The Claimants were all employed as single females but later had changes of Marital Status in the course of their employment.
“Throughout the length of their services with the Defendants, the Claimants performed the job specification to their best of abilities and were never found wanting by the Defendants and
“In fact, the Claimant had variously been promoted and earned commendations of the Defendants”.
Other facts supplied include:
“The Claimants have continued to work diligently until, 8th March, 2018, a day set aside globally as “Women’s Day” when they got a shocking gifts from Defendants in premeditated sack letters, terminating their employments. The Claimants plead and shall rely on the respective letters of termination of employments at the trial.
“The Claimants state that the purported letters of termination of appointment violated the terms and conditions of service of the employees of the defendants. The Claimants plead and shall rely on the conditions of service of the Defendants at the trial. Notice is hereby given to the defendants to produce the conditions of service and staff handbook manual at the trial.
“The Claimants state that the purported termination of their employments was premeditated discriminatory and in bad faith as can be deduced from the cumulative events leadings to the termination”.
According to document, sometime in July, 2017, the Defendants embarked on what was termed staff profiling of all the Gloworld staff, wherein they requested for the following particulars of the staff, among others; full length and portrait picture, passport photograph, date of birth, marital status and length of service at the Globacom Limited despite that all the above information was available to the Human Resources Department of the Defendants, the Claimants nevertheless complied with the request and forwarded their details.
Again, in January, 2018, the Executive Director, (Legal) of the 1st defendant, Mrs Gladis Talabi, Jumoke Aduwo, Human Resources Manager and the regional managers of Gloworld went round all the branches nationwide to “see” all Gloworld staff and conduct “physical verification”, wherein the following personal questions were asked: are you married? How many children do you have? How long have you been in the system? Etc. The staff were further asked to file out for physical examination and have their photographs taker by lined photographers, it added.
The details of other grounds are:
“The Claimants state that the employment processes of the Defendants were conducted in violation of the rights of the applicants to human dignity as often, shortlisted candidates after successful interviews with the Globacom Human Resources personnel’s were further made to face personal interview by the Chairman of the Globacom Dr. Mike Adenuga, where they were advised to look nice, make up well, wear push up bras, chest out, wear miniskirts, a well manicured nails and generally look sexy for the interview with the Chairman.
“After all the rigors of the interview, the successful applicants were given letters of employment through various agencies of the Defendant, such as Contact Centre Services Limited, Vixen Enterprises, Umbrella Limited, Blue Moon Ventures, Dragnet Limited, etc. All affliates of the 1st Defendant.
“Sometime in 2008, the 2nd defendant, Global Manpower Limited (GML) was introduced to the Claimants who were made to sign over their appointments to the agency under duress and without opportunity to read and understand the contract.
“The Claimants state that they were not even avail with a copy of the new contract signed with the 2nd Defendant.
“Again sometime in 2012, the Claimants were made to sign a bond that they would remain in remain in the employment of Globacom Limited for a certain number of Years and any dissengament of staff within the period either voluntarily or by default of the defendant would attract a penalty of 10 Million Naira. The claimant plead and shall rely on the copy of the bond at the trial. The Defendants are hereby given notice to produce the original bond at the trial.
“Furthermore, in 2016, the Claimants, are Gloworld Managers and Stock Controllers were made to bring two guarantors such as bank Managers, Clergymen, High networth individual and level 14 and above Civil Servants. The guarantors were made to provide a blank signed but undated cheques and ittle documents of landed properties in choice locations as well as letters of introduction from banks. The Claimants pleads and shall rely on copies of the said guarantors bond at the trial.
“Those who were unable to meet up with deadlines for the submission of the guarantors had their salaries withheld till they were able to meet up.
“The Claimants state that those documents and bonds including the signed but undated cheques are still in possession of the defendants till date.
“The Claimants state that due to the bond entered with the Defendants they have had to stay back from several job opportunities.
“The Claimants state that sequel to the termination of their appointments, the defendants paid one month salary and unpaid leave allowance into the accounts of the Claimants, leaving out pending Domestic Travel Allowances (DTAS), pending relocation allowances and outstanding float retirements purportedly in lieu of the notice of termination.
“The Claimants also state that the payment of one month salary in lieu of notice is contrary to the 60 days notice required under the condition of service.
“The Claimants state further that the defendants failed to remit their pension contribution as well as tax deductions to the relevant tax agencies and pension managers.
“The Claimants reasonably believe that the mass retrenchment was target against them as married women, because about 97% of the staff whose employment were terminated and laid off are married women.
“The Claimants positions were immediately filled by single female and male staff.
“The Claimants while contending that the purported termination of their employments by the defendants was unlawful, also aver that their rights as married women have been seriously trampled upon by the Defendants.