The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to take action against Chevron Nigeria Limited after the oil and gas company sacked some workers through its contractor, Cordeau Nigeria Limited.
The threat is coming barely a week after Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) shut down Chevron’s headquarters.
NUPENG said it was willing to take necessary measures to protect its workers. It stated that it would ensure the sack of the 32 workers was nullified. NUPENG said the action of Chevron was unpatriotic and uncivilised.
According to NUPENG, the workers were sacked in 2019 for trying to join the association, a decision the management of Chevron reportedly frowned at. It insisted that the workers have a right to association, making Chevron’s directive an abuse of labour and workers’ rights.
The workers’ group issued seven days ultimatum to Chevron, to reverse its decision on the workers or face legal actions. In a statement reported by Punch, it said it would stage nationwide industrial actions and demonstrations.
It said, “NUPENG with every atom of strength in us is vehemently opposed to this unpatriotic and uncivilised move in view of our assertive commitment to the protection of jobs of our members, considering the high level of unemployment in the country.
“In view of this heartbreaking dilemma, which is currently posing a huge threat to the nation’s industrial peace and harmony as well as socio-economic activities of the citizenry, the union is using this medium to reach out to the management of Chevron to call back to work all the sacked workers forthwith.”
It added, “Consequent on the above demand and having taken us for granted, NUPENG hereby puts all our members on red alert should Chevron Nigeria Limited and its contractor fail to honour or comply with our demand within the next seven days.
“We would also not hesitate to take all necessary legal options available to us, including nationwide industrial actions and demonstrations, to press home our legitimate and urgent request.”
Chevron and its workers’ crisis: Chevron seems to be unable to shake off its workers’ crisis. The company announced its intention to sack 70% of its contract staff in line with the plan to reduce operation in August last year.
It was later agreed that only 30% of the Labour Manpower Contract Workers would be relieved of their jobs. The oil and gas firm was accused of acting against the agreement by sacking only NUPENG members, leading to a nationwide protest.
Also, last month, December 2019, PENGASSAN shut down the headquarters of Chevron following its failure to pay its workers’ entitlements.
What you need to know: Chevron is the third-largest oil-producing company in Nigeria. It has 40% participation in eight onshore and shallow offshore fields as well as three operated and six non-operated deepwater blocks in the country.