A pro-labour organisation, International Lawyers Assisting Workers Network (Nigerian Chapter), has expressed readiness to provide free legal service to 126 workers rescued by police in a rice mill in Kano.
The police had on Monday in Kano discovered the company where workers were being held against their will for close to three months.
In a statement issued by Benson Upah on sunday on behalf of the organisation, the group said the action constituted not only unwholesome labour practices but also an infringement on the rights and liberty of the workers.
The group said it would work with the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress and their affiliate unions in Kano State to ensure that the workers get justice.
The statement warned unscrupulous employers of labour, Nigerians and foreign employers of labour that the days of workplace tyranny were over.
ILAW called on the police, Ministry of Labour, Nigeria Immigration Service and other appropriate authorities not to relent in their efforts in ensuring that perpetrators of dastardly acts were made to face the law.
The statement reads, “The conduct of the rice mill company is not only barbaric and nihilistic, it also goes against the grain of decent work agenda to which we all subscribe.
“Accordingly, we call upon the police, the Ministry of Labour, immigration (the company is alleged to be Indian) and other appropriate authorities not to relent in their efforts in ensuring that the full weight of the law be visited upon the culprits.
“This is made necessary and urgent by the fact that Popular Farm are allegedly not first time offenders. At the time of this infraction, they were alleged to be on suspension from the membership of the Rice Processors Association of Nigeria over some issues.
“We will embark on all lawful means to ensure that the Kano 126 get justice.”
SaharaReporters, New York