Urge FG to halt planned sack of workers by Chevron
By Victor Ahiuma-Young
Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association, PENGASSAN, counterpart, have threatened to shut down the nation’s Petroleum industry over alleged plans by Chevron Nigeria Limited to sack thousands of workers from its operations nationwide.
Leaders of NUPENG and PENGASSAN have already directed their members nationwide to prepare to withdraw their services nationwide any moment from now, warning that they would not accept any sack of workers.
The two unions in the oil sector specifically called on the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Department of State Services DSS, and other relevant authorities to prevail on Chevron Nigeria Limited, to immediately stop the plan to sack workers in its operations nationwide to avoid industrial unrest.
NUPENG and PENGASSAN, named the affected workers as thousands of their members who are contract workers on M15 and H15 Contracts in Lagos, Warri and Escravos, saying it is shocking that Chevron is planning to sack the workers in spite of the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.
In a statement jointly issued through Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa and Comrade Adamu Song, General Secretary of PENGASSAN and NUPENG respectively, the unions said they were worried over the manner Chevron management was executing the end of M15 and H15 Contracts, “ostensibly laced with hidden plans and intentions to unilaterally and heinously sack thousands of contract workers in spite of the ongoing intervention of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.
“While Chevron has decided to close M-15 and H-15 contracts by October 31, 2018, it is really disturbing to see new contractors being engaged by Chevron management and whose Labour Contract will take effect on November 1, 2018, to start advertising all jobs, in spite of clear provision for “roll over” of the existing workers on the jobs, consequent upon which large numbers of the current workforce are most likely to be abruptly thrown into the Labour market in their own country.
“The leaderships of the two Unions in the oil and gas industry see such arrangement as cruel, callous and by all standards an affront on the Nigerian constituted authority and industry extant rules. Without sounding immodest, it has now become quite glaring that Chevron management is overstretching the good intentions of NUPENG and PENGASSAN (NUPENGASSAN) to entrench peaceful and harmonious industrial relations particularly at a critical time like this when the country is approaching an election year.
“Without mincing words, we are deeply bothered by the purported claims being peddled around by Chevron Management that their action of sacking Nigerian workers is a directive from National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPPIMS, and the Nigeria Contents Monitoring and Development Board, NCMDB. We then wonder if the role of these government agencies is to create jobs for Nigerians or to compound unemployment situation as already prevalent in the country.
“As proactive Unions, that have interest of the nation at heart, we found it appropriate to use this avenue to appeal to the National Assembly, Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Department of State Services, DSS, and other relevant authority to prevail on Chevron Nigeria Limited to follow the line of best practice by exercising restraints and engage in peaceful transition into new contract circle by strictly following established guidelines which provide for ‘roll over’’ of workers.
“At this juncture, we are further constrained to notify the general public that NUPENG and PENGASSAN will not hesitate to embark on nationwide industrial action on this matter and we have already placed our members on red alert should the Management of Chevron remains recalcitrant or adamant to rescind its anti-labour decision which is grossly injurious to Nigerian workers who are oil and gas workers and by extension the nation’s economy.”