By Victor Ahiuma-Young
PETROLEUM and Natural GasÂ Â Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has given a July 3, 2009 deadline for all labour/industrial relations matters including pensions and gratuities of members that must be discussed and finalised before any alleged planned sale of Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd is consummated to avoid the wrath of organised labour.
PENGASSAN in a statement jointly signed by its President and General Secretary, Comrades Babatunde Ogun and Bayo Olowoshile respectively, warned prospective buyers against entering into any discussion or agreement relating to the sale of Addax with the companyâ€™s management until all labour issues are amicably resolved.
The statement read in part: â€œInformation reaching our National Secretariat indicates that there is an on-going discussion in respect of the sale of Addax Petroleum, the details of which is unknown to our members in the company. To our surprise Management has failed to carry the Association along on a matter like this, which has far-reaching consequences on the jobs of our members as well as the welfare of all employees in the company. We are also not unaware that there are major unresolved issues leading to growing tension and agitation among employees.â€
â€œIn view of the above, we are constrained to demand as follows: That our Association in particular and the representatives of our members be carried along in any discussion relating to the above subject. That the full interest of our members and indeed, all employees be given utmost consideration. That the major issues of Pension and Gratuity be discussed and finalized not later than July 3, 2009.
ThatÂ the resultsÂ of the JobÂ Evaluation exerciseÂ be releasedÂ notÂ later thanÂ June 30, 2009, in accordanceÂ withÂ Managementâ€™sÂ earlier promiseÂ to the Association. That all labour/industrial relations issues must be resolved prior to the sale of the company.
As an Association of workers in the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria, we wish to state that Management should hold discussions and meetings on the above subject in an open and transparent manner in the interest of all stakeholders.
Finally, We wish to warn that no company should enter into any discussion /agreement with Addax Petroleum Development Nigeria Ltd, in respect of the above issue until all labour issues are resolved between the company Management and the Unions .
It is imperative to mention that Management should be mindful of the fact that we will not allow any member/employee to be short changed in the event that the company is sold.â€