The 14-day nationwide strike notice issued on Monday by the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to disrupt the flow and supply of petroleum products in the country. The strike threat if eventually actualized may trigger scarcity of fuel across the country.
NUPENG in the notice of strike issued on Monday in Lagos State said it is planning to go on strike once the ultimatum expires due to the unfair labour practices against its members by the National Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and others.
The statement containing the 14-days ultimatum for all pending issues to be resolved was signed by the President of NUPENG, Prince Williams Akporeha, and the secretary, Olawale Afolabi.
The ultimatum starts counting from Monday, 15th November, 2021.
The statement said they have been expressing their minds since 2012 and despite interventions by the federal government at different times, the issues have largely remained unresolved.
Some of the identified issues include the indiscriminate sack of workers without payment of benefits and entitlements.
The statement reads in part “we write to convey to the general public and all relevant government agencies the resolution of the Special National Delegates Conference, SNDC, to issue a 14 day notice of a nationwide industrial action if some legitimate welfare and membership related issues that have been variously resolved in our favour even by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment are not adequately and conclusively addressed and resolved within the next fourteen days. This Ultimatum takes effect from Monday 15th, November, 2021.
“Some of these issues include: The outstanding short payment of terminal benefits to our members that were declared redundant in 2012 by management of Chevron Nigeria limited. For the records, these benefits were in line with the subsisting Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA, as at the time these workers were laid off. This fact has been severally established but Chevron management short paid these workers and locked them out of its premises.
“In similar manner, Chevron management also terminated the employment of Contract workers in MUYIDEEN (Labour Contractor) and YKISH (Labour Contractor) because these workers consented to join the Union and when the employment of these workers who have variously put in between 10 and 20 years in continuous employment were terminated, no single kobo has been paid to them as terminal benefits.
“There is also the matter concerning PYRAMIDT workers, who for more than 20 years now have been moved from one Labour Contractor to another without conditions of service and Union representation/ recognition. The struggle for the unionization of these have spanned several years with workers remaining resolute to be members of NUPENG.
“The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment also ruled that the contractor should accede to the demands of the workers to belong to NUPENG after receiving the report of the Visitation Panel sent by the Ministry to the workplace to determine the nature of work and services these workers are rendering. Several members of these workers have left jobs after several years through old age or death and they left without any terminal benefits to show for several years of services.
“Contract workers working in OML 42 of NPDC are being owed salaries and allowances for upwards of 8 to 10 months and efforts to make management of NPDC and the contractors to do the needful on the pitiable plights of these hapless workers have not received any meaningful attention and actions.
“Nigeria Agip Oil Company and its contractors are also owing contracts workers’ salaries and allowances for upwards of 10 months. These workers are being denied salaries and allowances on very inhuman excuses that the contractors are yet to fulfill certain due process. Yet this due process is not stopping NAOC from exploiting the skills and sweats of these Nigerians for profits while the workers and their families are wallowing in hardship and poverty.
“In similar manner, NAOC has since early 2020 being using the excuse of COVID -19 to keep several of our members away from work while using casual/daily paid workers to do their work even while there is a subsisting contract.”
Leaders of the Union at its SNDC on November 11, 2021, noted with “deep disappointment that despite the fact that these issues have been tabled before different government agencies/institutions and they have been resolved, the decisions remain unimplemented while our members keep suffering in excruciating jeopardy.
“It was therefore resolved and directed, that these issues do not require any further meetings or negotiations but decisive actions and implementation of all established issues within the period of our notice to all concerned.”