By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Wednesday, issued a seven-day ultimatum to Chevron Nigeria Limited to honour an agreement on workers welfare to avoid Industrial chaos.
The leadership of the union after its meeting in Lagos expressed its displeasure with Chevron for reneging on the agreement reached with the union, urging workers to be on alert for strike action.
The union disclosed this in a statement jointly signed by NUPENG president, Williams Akporeha, and general secretary, Afolabi Olawale.
According to the statement, Chevron reneged in the agreement one year after the negotiation brokered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and the Ministry of Labour.
Mr Akporeha said the union and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) had a protracted negotiation with Chevron on more than 70 per cent labour manpower reduction.
He said that Chevron claimed that it required the 70 per cent job reduction in view of its operations in the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
According to him, unions opposed the move in view of its commitment to the protection of jobs of members and considering the high level of unemployment in the country.
“We agreed that considering the intervention of all the institutions and the various justifications made, only 30 per cent of labour manpower contract workers would be relieved.
“All parties agreed that from the 1,856 members of staff (of which NUPENG had 1,120 (contract staff), PENGASSAN with 213 (contract staff) and non-unionised 523 respectively), the 30 per cent reduction agreed shall be spread in equal percentages among the three groups,’’ it said.
The statement said it was agreed that NUPENG and PENGASSAN executives would not be affected by the reduction and that Chevron would not change the labour manpower to service contract.
It also said the agreement that anyone who voluntarily offers to go would be counted as part of the agreed 30 per cent.
“Sadly, immediately after the agreement was reached, Chevron started executing the exercise in blatant violation of the agreed terms ostensibly.
“To either put NUPENG in bad light as troublesome or for extinction because only NUPENG members have been exited from work leaving behind the Non- Unionised workers and PENGASSAN members,’’ it said