BEVERLY HILLS, August 02, (THEWILL) – The meeting called by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with the leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in Lagos over the seven-day ultimatum issued the Federal Government by Nupeng ended in a deadlock on Thursday.
NUPENG had asked the Federal Government to compel Chevron Nigeria Limited to honour the agreement it reached with the union on June 20, 2019 saying its members would embark on strike if the agreement was not respected within seven days.
After the union threatened industrial action, the NNPC quickly intervened and called for a meeting between the union leaders and other stakeholders in the matter.
NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha, told Punch after the meeting that parties involved would reconvene on Friday because no agreement was reached on Thursday.
Akporeha said, “We have ended today’s (Thursday) meeting but we have not agreed on any resolution. We are reconvening again tomorrow (today). What this means is that the seven-day ultimatum we issued on Wednesday is still subsisting because nothing has changed.”
A statement on Wednesday by Akporeha and the General Secretary of NUPENG, Afolabi Olawale, on the ultimatum stated, “NUPENG, with deep frustration and worries, would like to alert the general public and all relevant authorities to the blatant violation of agreement reached between Chevron Nigeria Limited and unions in the industry.
“It is public knowledge that unions in the oil and gas industry had a protracted negotiation with Chevron Nigeria Limited over 70 per cent labour manpower reduction which it (Chevron) claimed was required in view of reduction in their operations in the oil and gas Industry.
“After up to one year negotiation, brokered by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, National Petroleum Investment Management Services and the Ministry of Labour, it was agreed that considering the intervention of all the institutions mentioned above and the various justifications made, only 30 per cent of the labour manpower contract workers will be relieved.”
The union added, “Of the 1,856 contract workers in the company, NUPENG has 1,120; PENGASSAN, 213; and non-unionised, 523. It was agreed that the 30 per cent reduction shall be spread in equal percentage among the three groups. It was also agreed that the union executives (NUPENG and PENGASSAN) will not be affected by the reduction, that Chevron Nigeria Limited will not in any guise change the labour manpower to service contracts.
“Unfortunately, immediately after the agreement was reached, Chevron started executing the exercise in blatant violation of the agreed terms, ostensibly to either put NUPENG in a 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.
“From our record, over 500 of NUPENG members are being sacked. Having been pushed to the wall, NUPENG, hereby, puts all our members on red alert should Chevron Nigeria Limited and its contractors fail to honour or comply with our demands within the next seven days, we would also not hesitate to take all necessary legal options available to us, including industrial action, to press home our legitimate demands.”