GPB EXCLUSIVE: Jumia staff suffocates to death in hot warehouse, leaves pregnant fiancée behind

A Jumia dispatch rider prepares to deliver packaged order. This is NOT Ola. Ola works in the warehouse…packaging the goods.

A soon-to-be-married Nigerian collapsed, and died, on Monday, February 8 after prolonged exposure to ‘inhumane’ working conditions.
Ola, as the man is being identified, worked for online retail firm Jumia where employees say they are now being treated like animals.
Ola is one of the many Jumia employees who package goods you order for via the firm’s online portals. The warehouse where he works is one of the hottest around the world, employees told NewsroomNG.
Ola slumped and died on Monday inside a Jumia warehouse located at Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja area of Lagos State.
The tragic news hit the airwaves after an anonymous Jumia employee wrote about the incident to a Nigerian blogger who posted in online.
‘I am a staff of Jumia Nigeria and you need to know what is going on in this slave trade company,’ the employee wrote Stelladimokokorkus‘ blog.
The post reads in part:
A Jumia Rider
People work in the worst working environment ever. Staff being kept in the warehouse where the working condition killed a staff in the office yesterday 08/02/2016. His name is Ola, set to marry his pregnant fiancée next month.
The warehouse is extremely hot, very unbearable, they make staff work for 12hours straight without sitting down. How do you let people stand packing and processing items in a hot warehouse for 12hours? And the pay is so small but you know people have basic needs and responsibilities then they take up these jobs.
The government needs to do something about this because this company is here to use people and kill them. No more health insurance, they cut down the health insurance whereby you can only treat headache in the hospital and that is it. They cut down salaries and other benefits.
A Jumia employee confirmed the sad news to NewsroomNG on Tuesday afternoon.
Here are his comments in full:
We just finished observing a minute silence for Ola at 12 noon today (Tuesday). It’s a big concern for everyone of us here. The conditions are terrible. The company has just gone from good to bad. Things have not been good in the last one and a half month. Since the management change hands from those first guys, things just went down. Jumia used to be run by one Nigerian and one Ghanian. They resigned and Europeans have now taken over. They are mostly French and Germans. The warehouse is a separate entity now and is being run by an Indian and you know how they are. In fact, the Indian running the warehouse now is a
motherfuker…sorry to use the language. The guy is really annoying. And this is what you get when you have that. People faint under the heat every other day. Most have even got used to the terrible condition. I saw Ola’s story on Stelladimokokorkus’ blog. Everything there is true. It is really bad for those guys in the warehouse. But even the people in the offices complain about the terrible state of their chairs and all. Can you imagine that a whole Jumia cannot provide something better than plastic chairs? But because a lot of people don’t know where to get their next meal, they are suffering in silence under Jumia oppression. Nigerians need to know what is happening here and the government must act fast. We can’t be treated like
shitin our own country.
Jumia is yet to speak on how it will improve conditions in its hot warehouses so another Ola doesn’t happen. We also do not know how Ola will be compensated.
We can’t imagine what Ola’s pregnant fiancée must be going through right now. They were supposed to be married in March. Wow.
This is not the first time a foreign-owned company would be accused of treating Nigerians like this. Remember La Casera…that time it called protesting Nigerian employees ‘criminals?’
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