The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and the Petroelum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have directed her members in Chevron Nigeria Limited to commence a total shut down of the company’s operations over the sack of 600 Nigerian employees and other anti-Labour practices by the management of the company.
In a statement jointly signed by the President of NUPENG, Comrade Prince Akporeha and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Comrade Festus Osifo, the unions stated that Chevron management was using the excuse of the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse to ease out Nigerian workers from the company while it continued to engage expatriates to do jobs that Nigerians were qualified to perform.
The unions gathered that Chevron management on Independence Day, notified about two thousand of its employees that their services are no longer required and that those still interested in working with them can apply afresh for a new job.
This development, the unions said, runs contrary to Nigeria’s laws and regulating the Oil and Gas industry as it does not protect our national interest.
“This is an imperialist agenda that must not be allowed to stay; most especially as we have just finished celebrating our 60th independence as a sovereign country. Agree, the coronavirus pandemic did hit the world real hard, but should that make organisations lose their humanity? It is obvious that the management wants to casualise Nigerians. Is this a way to compensate workers who risked their lives, even during the lockdown to sustain production?
“It is imperative at this point to remind the federal government that job creation is one of its mantras. In fact, the government made the creation of 1 million jobs per year a must do if voted into power. Furthermore, an approval was also given for the employment of one thousand employees in the NNPC by the government which to us is an effort geared towards fulfilling its promise on job creation. Why should this come up now?
“Mr. president, we are Nigerians and it is expedient that we defend our interest. We should consider this move by Chevron management as an insult on our collective existence as a country. With our 60% stake in Chevron we should have a say. The Unions will not turn its back on the oil workers, not even when one of its affiliates is affected.
“We must know that sacking two thousand employees who are married men and women is the same as sacking ten thousand people. The additional eight thousand are their dependents (wives, husband, children, parents, in-laws and unemployed friends). We recall that this same Chevron Management has been sacking Nigerians almost on an annual basis under the guise of labor contract rollovers, redundancies and severances since 2012. Even those who were impacted by the 2012 rollover are yet to be paid their complete loss of employment entitlement, yet the same company is adding to the over saturated unemployment market in Nigeria while protecting American interests”
“We are against this imperialist agenda. We are going to check this manipulation. We have directed our members in Chevron to withdraw their services and call on the Federal Government to call Chevron Management to order otherwise we can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the oil and gas sector. Here is our fatherland and we have a Labour Law that regulates the activities of organisations in Nigeria. This law cannot be breached. We must follow the process”