Our jobs under attack, PENGASSAN raises alarm

By Victor Ahiuma-Young

Barely a year after the Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, slammed a $250,000 fine on National Oilwell Varco, NOV, over perceived unfair labour practices, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has threatened to shut the international oil firm over plans to sack workers.

Recall that the DPR had last year slammed a $250,000 fine on NOV for sacking 23 Nigerian employees without recourse to due process.

NOV Oil had been accused of flouting the directive by the DPR in 2014 and 2015 to put in place a Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, before embarking on redundancy.

The industry regulator reiterated its readiness to sanction any oil and gas company that refused to comply with its directive as well as provisions in Article 15a of DPR regulations and 20 of Nigerian Labour law.

Meanwhile, PENGASSAN has threatened to shut the oil firm if its management again sack any of its members, calling on DPR to impose further sanctions on  NOV Oil should it  continue to disobey Nigeria Labour  laws  and regulations.

PENGASSAN Lagos Zonal Chairman,  Eyam Abeng, stated this while responding to issues of perceived anti-labour practices by NOV Oil.

He claimed that NOV Oil management had a characteristic of sacking workers without due process, demanding reinstatement of the 23 workers sacked un-procedurally.

He said:  “They are in the habit of not respecting the laws of the land as regards labour practices. We are aware of what the company did in other countries, such as Angola,  Congo, Ghana and Cameroon, among others. How the company started with over 100 workers and later reduced them to four or five.

“This is what National Oilwell Varco (NOV) wants to do in Nigeria. It wants to offshore jobs that can be done by Nigerians and which we have competent Nigerians to other countries like South Africa.”

Abeng said the company must put in place a CBA before going ahead with its redundancy plan, adding that “Nigerians should be adequately compensated if the redundancy will impact on them.

“PENGASSAN is ready to go all out to fight for the rights of its members and ensure their job security.”

National Oilwell Varco is an international oil and gas services company with headquarters in Texas, United States of America (USA) and has operations in over 20 countries.

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