Saturday, July 8, 2017

I Was Hospitalised, Sacked After My Philipino Boss Beat Me- Factory Worker

A Nigerian worker, Omoghiboria Justina, who was sacked from a South African packaging company at Agbara, Ogun State, Nampak Bevcan Nigeria, has cried out over the injustice that led to her sacking.

Ordinarily, Omoghiboria’s sacking could have been dismissed as part of working in a factory, but according to the woman, her former plant manager, a Philipino named Rosendo Pelagio, orchestrated her exit after assaulting her.

According to the Edo State indigene, who until June 22, 2017 was the company’s finish pallet inspector, she was assaulted by Pelagio on May 6 over her inability to pick a phone call to her by the Philipino.

The 29-year-old woman told Saturday Punch, “I was on duty that day from 6am to 9pm. We had a problem called axial load failure which involved checking the strength of cans. I did my normal procedure, but needed to sign some papers as part of quality instructions. It was already 9pm which was my closing time that day but I could not just leave without inputting the records in a computer.

“That was what I was doing when he came and approached me angrily, demanding to know why I did not pick his missed calls. It was then I checked my phone and realised he had called three times. I think someone must have offended him previously because I did not know why he was so angry. I was simply recording of 17 pallets on the computer. I did the same thing because I did not want to miss anything.

“I told him that as he knew, I could not pick calls.  He asked why I was sitting down while others were working. He was very angry and I told him that I was working to time because all our operations were based on timeliness. He then tried to take my phone from me but because I was struggling with him, he hit me in the chest. I started to shout and told him to leave me alone. I struggled with him and he hit me again and said he would write to the management about my insubordination. I walked away and he ran after me and hit me again.

“I called other workers to see what was happening. I was crying and asked what I did wrong. He said, ‘I am the manager here, I would make sure you are sacked.’ A colleague who intervened was shouting and telling him not to hit a woman like that. But he just told my direct boss to sack me, he asked him to call the police and the company security to throw me out but because I did nothing wrong, my direct supervisor did not do so.”

According to Omoghiboria, while Pelagio hit her, she used her right hand to block him once. She alleged that the CCTV record of the incident, which only showed the part where she blocked him with her arm was the evidence used to fire her.

She was accused of assaulting her boss.

But trouble started when Omoghiboria got home that night. She said she started feeling unwell and had to go to the hospital, where she reportedly collapsed twice before she was given injections to stabilise her.

She said, “That night I started feeling unwell. I had to go to the hospital and was told I collapsed twice. I was given injections and discharged later.

“I went to work the following day. My blood pressure was sky high and they took me to the hospital to be admitted. I was admitted for two days. When I got back I was told to make a statement of what happened.

“I did and a panel was set up to investigate the issue. Even at the panel, he was still threatening me. Eventually, they terminated my job.”

The case was reported at the Ministry of Labour of the Ogun State Government by the workers’ union in the company. The ministry insisted that justice must prevail.

Omoghiboria has accused the company of failing to sanction the Philipino for an unwarranted assault on her and instead punished her for doing nothing wrong.

But when Saturday Punch reached out to the Human Resources Manager, Mr. Abiodun Towobola, he explained that it was not true that Omoghiboria was punished unjustly.

He said, “It is a process. When the issue came up, she was the one that was investigated. It is based on her own report that we had to continue the process by looking into the actions of Mr. Pelagio.

“Because of his role in the company being a senior staff member critical to production and being a signatory to some important documents, we could not just disengage him immediately without putting some things in place first. We have concluded in the management that he (Pelagio) cannot continue with the company.

“We have given him till the end of July to disengage. We are not an organisation that does not care about our staff whether the lowest cadre or the highest. We have a code of conduct and anybody that goes against it will be taken through the normal process.

“An expatriate had assaulted a staff member before and we immediately sent him away. In this case, the man told her to stop using her phone but she did not listen. She had her own shortcoming and so does the man. Both of them are liable for punishment. The management is not partial to anybody. We have concluded that the man must go.”

Saturday Punch reached out to Pelagio but he did not pick calls to his line.


  1. Too much harrassment from these people

  2. Justice must be served

  3. Another avenue to get 3 m naira after the kungfu's story

    1. Ode ni e, Anofia. No woman deserves to be humilated. Foreigners are known to be very harsh and aggressive towards Nigerians. As a man, nothing will make me put my hand on a woman even men self. I no get that strenght.

  4. I see no reason why these people will be maltreating us in our country