By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PALPABLE apprehension of industrial unrest has engulfed African Petroleum, AP, following the summon, yesterday, of the companyâ€™s workers by the leadership of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, to discuss the alleged planned mass reduction of the oil companyâ€™s workforce by theÂ by the management.
Already,Â no fewer than 14 of the 25 senior managers have been sacked in the last one week, thus creating tension in the company as the organised labour in the oil industry threatened to cripple operations of the company.
Sources claimed that while most, if not all members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, are to be eased out, two-third of their senior staff counterpart, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, are to be retrenched.
The move, the sources alleged, was targeted at not only emasculating the two unions in the company, but also to replace the staff with contract workers.
As early as 10 a.m yesterday, the Ikorodu Road head office of PENGASSAN was a beehive of activities as workers and union thronged the headquarters of the umbrella body for senior staff association in nationâ€™s oil industry.
At press time, Lagos zonal Chairman of PENGASSA, Rev. Sunday Oginni, told Vanguard on phone that the leadership of PENGASSAN and workers of AP were still discussing and strategising on how best to tackle the management of AP Plc over what he called an assault on labour.
A senior manager had told Vanguard on Monday on condition of anonymity: â€œJust last week, I4 senior managers mostly from the head office were relieved of their duties through force retirement and outright sack.â€