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Discrimination: How Globacom Nigeria Sacked Over 90 Women Because They Are Married

We paid our dues in this company, we deserve better. When I had my first child, I wasn’t up to two years on the company so I wasn’t entitled to maternity leave. My brother, I only spent two weeks with my son and started work again. There were days I will postpone my hospital visits just to get to work. I need the world to hear of this issue. Globacom sacked us one day after international women’s day and two days before mother’s day. How corny can they get?

Last year, Ghana Immigration Service said they won’t employ women (not men) with bleached skin, “They will have bleedings during the training” the commissioner said. We the media ignored them, and because we ignore them, the world didn’t say a thing. Actually, nobody takes seriously a commissioner who says “bleedings” in an official statement. They disqualified those women and asked them to go to court. The cycle continues, the oppression of women everywhere, especially at places of work.

Globacom may have taken that route this time, a ridiculous path with rude sack letters to over 90 women. Reason? They were married women with kids. However, that wasn’t stated in the sack letters. No employer would do that. Employers have learnt to argue their ridiculous cases by other means. But sometimes they don’t have a case to even argue. Some of the victims have decided to be silent about it, some have also been advised by their husbands and relatives to ignore it and look for jobs elsewhere.

However, in a report by The Nigerian News, a  renowned legal practitioner and public interest litigation expert, Tunji Salawu, Esq has given several reasons why his clients have resolved to drag Globacom to court, filing a #50billion legal action against the suit at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) via suit number NICN/ABJ/75/2018.

We reached out to over 30 women that were sacked, they expressed sadness and anger but didn’t agree for the publication of their stories as they are scared Globacom chairman will deal with them. One of the victims who wishes to be anonymous had a chat with Woke Africa:

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In which Glo office did this happen?

It happened in Gloworld.

How many males and females were fired?

I am not sure of the exact figure. Women should be over 100. I have heard of only 2 men.

What led to the massive layoffs?

The company said they wanted to restructure the flowered department. They created a new unit within the department called Regional Managers. About 3 weeks ago, I received a call from one of our top HR staff asking me if I could work in another location. I told her I was a married woman with children. She asked me if my location was not close to where they wanted me to go and I said no it’s not. She said okay and ended the call. Note also, they had advertised for female stock controllers which I also reapplied for even though I was already one. So after the call, I was hopeful I would be left in my position and location. When the letters started coming, the regional managers got theirs first. Followed by cluster managers, then the stock controllers, then the managers and lastly the executives. So we realised that all the female managers were left hanging because their roles had been given to males. The married female stock controllers who said they could not move (because the call had been placed to most of us) were hanging because their roles had been given to single females. So it turned out as I started making inquiries to colleagues that the ladies who agreed to move were moved to other locations and also the married ladies who had not done their change of name were retained. Some were promoted while some retained their jobs as stock controllers.

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How many people were finally recruited after the sack? Are the new recruits all males?

Of course, there are new recruits to Gloworld, all of which are females to the best of my knowledge. They brought 3 new employees to my shop, all ladies. The shops I have spoken to also confirmed that their new recruits are also female.

Did the company leave you a compensation?

They paid us one month salary and monetized leave days for those who have outstanding leave. Then they also prorated the 9 days in March prior to the day the sack letter was given.

How many years did you work for Glo before the sack?

It will be 10 years this year.

What are your plans now? 

I hope to get compensated by the company after being used and dumped, not out of incompetence but purely based on marital status.

Is there any other thing you’d want us to know?

No employer will sack you and tell you it’s because you were married. Look at the demographics. Out of over 100 people that were sacked, less than ten are men! Of all the married women sacked, all had done their change of name. If it was out of incompetence, would I have been called and asked to move to another location? It wasn’t like I was being promoted. They just wanted to separate people from their families. Even the men that were made managers, most of them were uprooted from their base and sent to other locations against their will. The last advert they mailed to us asked for female stock controllers, to which I applied. I am female, I am a stock controller. How come they gave it to a single female who by the way did not even want to come. She refused to show up but HR insisted she should. Meanwhile, I was there hanging, not knowing my fate. The chairman is a rich man, he has influence and can pay people to come forward and say all sorts. But the truth remains, we were sacked because we are married and have done our change of names. We did not commit fraud, we were hard working and dedicated to our jobs. If they felt we were no longer looking attractive to customers as I heard some of the chairman’s friends complained to him that the offices they visited were full of old women, they could have given us a timeline to lose weight or something. We paid our dues in this company, we deserve better. When I had my first child, I wasn’t up to two years in the company so I wasn’t entitled to maternity leave. I only spent two weeks with my son and started work again. There were days I will postpone my hospital visits just to get to work. I need the world to hear of this issue. Globacom sacked us one day after international women’s day and two days before mothers day. How corny can they get?

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Henry I. Ugwu

Written by Henry I. Ugwu

Henry I. Ugwu is a writer, opinion journalist, media scholar, social media strategist and crisis management expert.

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