By Simon Ebegbulem
BENIN – STAFF of Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday commenced three days warning strike following failure by the management of the company to reverse the alleged sale of OML 42, one of the priced oil assets of the company.
The staff of the company had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the management after a protest last week, adding that they will down tools if the alleged decision to sell the OML42 was not reversed. They alleged that the oil asset was illegally sold to an individual who has been a contractor to the company.
However, the management of the company claimed that the OML42 was not sold but transferred to one of their contractors. But the workers flayed that claim, saying that they have been asked to hand over all documents relating to the OML42 to the contractor, meaning that it has actually been sold.
The crisis in the company took another twist when some striking workers alleged that the union executives have compromised and threatened to impeach them. At press time, the workers were meeting to impeach the union executives.
One of the union members, who craved anonymity told Vanguard “We were shocked that after concluding to commence the warning strike today (Wednesday), our union chairman called from Abuja that he is negotiating with them that we should no longer embark on the strike action. But we disagreed.”
We have heard that some of them are being induced to stop our struggle. The other day, they brought policemen to intimidate us but we have vowed to continue this struggle until the right thing is done.”
The spokesman of the company, Mr Ugo had earlier told newsmen that the management of the company has been discussing with the workers, adding “we believe that things will be sorted out soonest.”