Some Nigerians in the employ of a shipping and logistics firm based in Lagos, CGM CMA Ltd have raised the alarm over their alleged harassment by a French national, Mr David Castex, a senior staff of the company.
Castex who is believed to be the Finance Manager of the company, is accused of engaging in what the staff call anti-labour practices and have pleaded with the Nigerian authorities to call the Frenchman to order.
Already, the staff have reported Castex to the commissioner of police, Lagos State. In a letter to the police commissioner, the staff said they were suffering all forms of inhuman treatment in the hands of Castex who keeps boasting that their country cannot do anything to him.
The staff who begged that their identity should not be disclosed for fear of further intimidation said “we are dedicated staff of CMA CGM anxious at ensuring the best for our organization concerning labour practices in our country. We concerned staff of CMA CGM wish to inform your office of the inhuman treatment exhibited by Mr David Castex a French National, a staff of CMA CGM Ltd.
“CMA CGM is into shipping logistics and located at Leventis building No 2 Wharf Road Apapa Lagos. Since the arrival of Mr David Castex, he has continued to display verbal abuses upon staff of this organisation.
“He exhibits this attitude with so much impunity and we concerned staff are worried that this situation will affect our morale and productivity to work. Mr David Castex has boasted in the office that Nigeria is a banana Republic without laws, and he will operate in a disorderly manner because he knows there is no law that will be used to investigate him since he is a white man.
“This is not good for our country’s image and that’s why we concerned staff are bringing this matter to your office for your information and necessary action. The inhuman molestation by Mr David Castex upon the staff of CMA CGM is very worrisome; we humbly appeal to you to use your good office to investigate this anti labour activities perpetuated by him.”
Castex, it was gathered, appear to be very influential and dreaded in the company. For example, when a call was placed to the company’s official line, with a request that the call be transferred to Castex, the lady who picked the call first fidgeted on hearing that name, before putting up a denial that there was nobody like that in the company’s employ.
Upon insistence, she later referred the reporter to the human resources department and provided an email address through which the manager could be reached. An email was sent to the mail box, but an automatic response was generated immediately, to the effect that the manager may have been on vacation. An alternative email and personnel was provided.
Our reporter sent the same mail to the alternative contact and it was duly delivered on Wednesday afternoon. But as at the time of going to press, there was no response from the personnel.
Our reporter made efforts to speak with Castex through his personal line but he evaded the calls. The first time a call was made to him, he picked and claimed that he was on another call, promising to call back.
Two hours after waiting for the call, our reporter placed another call to him but he rejected it. This was followed with a long text message to his confirmed line. Even though the text message was delivered to his phone, Castex never responded to enquiries made to him, neither did he return all the calls as promised.