Elderly women, who are street sweepers of LAMATA-constructed bus shelters along Mile12-Ketu –Ikorodu Road –Tafawa Balewa Square axis, staged a peaceful protest over the non-payment of their five months’ salaries.
Vanguard reported that the women were employed by Dafunol International Limited, a contractor engaged by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA).
With their sweeping kits on and their brooms, the women carried placards which had inscriptions as “LAMATA , pay us our salaries ever since the month of February, and why are you denying us our money, you are punishing us,’’ written on them.
A 70-year old sweeper, Mrs Musiliu Akindele, explained that since their salary was increased from N10,000 to N15,0000, per month, they were only paid for January and February, 2017.
“We were only paid for January and February, 2017. Our employer owes each of us five months’ salary arrears. Most of our children had been sent out of their schools over unpaid fees.”
She explained that, their employer used to supply them brooms to work with, but they are responsible for them now.
“With the non-payment of our salaries; we cannot afford them and this is affecting our service. Each broom costs N200 and now that the salary is not paid, we have no means to buy them to work,” she said.
Another sweeper, Mrs Morufat Egunjobi, explained that they usually worked between 6a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Sundays.
“We do not have duty off and no motivations from our employer. Yet, our employer owes us five months of unpaid salary arrears. Some of us who could not cope with the harsh situation had stopped working, the rest of us are doing it on empty promises that we will be paid one day. We are indebted to food sellers and they had refused to sell to us on credit anymore,’’ she said.
Mrs Mero Raifu, another sweeper, said she usually trekked from Ijora-Badia to Costain, her place of assignment, adding that she had been ejected from her apartment because she couldn’t pay her rent and now sleeps in a mosque.
Mrs Mojisola Adejuwon, another sweeper said, they took to the protest because their employers seem to have broken their promises.
According to her, they had two meetings with their supervisors early in the year and they were assured that they would be paid.