EXCLUSIVE: Lagos Airport Hotel, owned by S’West govts, send 250 staff on 3-month leave without pay while owing 2 months’ salaries

Lagos Airport Hotel employees, about 250 of them, were sent home in March, when the country began its blockade to check the spread of COVID-19.

The Lagos Airport Hotel is owned by six Southwestern States from Lagos, Oyo, Ogun, Ondo, Ekiti and Osun through the Odua Investment Limited platform.

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A text message sent to staff on April 21, obtained by Ripples Nigeria, claimed that it was a management decision. Our findings, however, showed that it may have been a unilateral decision by the Managing Director, Mr. Kayode Bakare, executed through the Human Resources Manager, Ms. Yemi Madu.

The workers were all at home waiting for salary alerts when they received the devastating text message, prolonging their distress.

On April 21, 2020, the text message signed by Ms. Madu asked the 150 permanent employees and 100 casual employees to take a mandatory three-month leave starting May 1.

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The affected workers were not paid in March or April. And there was no communication regarding the payment, even with the block being a little more difficult.

There was also no prior notification from the team or discussion with the team about the decision.

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Ripple Nigeria concluded that employees initially expected their wages when asked to leave in March, in accordance with government blocking guidelines. But it seems that Bakare may have taken the opportunity to tactically deprive employees of their wages, even without considering the serious economic impact on them and their families at a time when millions in the country and the world were suffering from the pains of COVID-19.

That text message said:

“NOTICE FOR THREE MONTHS OF RETURN AT HOME, WITHOUT PAYING, read:“ We regret to inform you of the management's decision to continue your stay at home after your leave for three months without payment until the company contacts you.

"This is due to the company's current financial crisis and its future uncertainty in this prevalent COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was painful and we regret that it has come to this. But we continue to hope for the best and wish you all the best."

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Just a few days ago, the federal government promised to protect workers during the pandemic. To an extent that the federal government's impressions were written everywhere, CBN stopped the looting of workers in the banking sector.

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Efforts to speak with the company's managing director, Mr. Kayode Bakare, have not paid off much.

Read too: Atiku University laid off 400 employees after its media company laid off 51

When a call was made to his cell line, the interviewee stated that it was not Mr. Bakare.

However, the company's human resources management, Madu, denied the report.

She said, “There was none of that. But we opened a discussion with the union and the matter is already settled. "

The HRM refused to speak further about the form of agreement between the two parties.

"It is totally unfair that the decision was made without our notice," said one employee who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of being targeted by management.

“We are still waiting for the March payment and, all of a sudden, we were invited to go home like that. We have families to look after especially at this moment, ”he added.

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