Comrade Afolabi Commends PTD for Training Drivers, Says Initiative Yielding Positive Results

The Deputy General Secretary (DGS) of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) in charge of Operations, Comrade Afolabi Olawale on Monday (Oct. 22, 2018) advised the Petroleum Tanker Driver (PTD) to adhere strictly to safety standards.
Comrade Afolabi gave the advice during a National Safety Training organised by the Lagos State chapter of PTD.
He said adhering to roads safety standards was the only antidote to frequent accidents and tankers explosions within city centres and on major roads.
He commended NUPENG PTD under the leadership of Comrade (Otunba) Akanni Salimon Oladiti for conducting timely and regular training for their drivers, even as he tasked the drivers to appreciate safety strategies at all times.
The DGS who is also a key facilitator at the training said at the end of the five day training (Monday Oct. 22 to 26, 2018), each driver who participated in the training would have been effectively equipped with relevant information that would make them to be efficient and resourceful in their chosen career.
“I believe the training will create a very big impact on the attitude of tanker drivers on the highway. Without contradiction training like this will help to reduce, if not totally eradicate, frequent tanker accidents on the highway because if a tanker gets involved in an accident, it is going to cause a lot of damage to people and properties. PTD must therefore be commended for training their members because they are the ones that have interface with the vehicles and other road users,” he said.
He added that the programme would also address other challenges associated with tanker drivers.
“I am so pleased today and can boldly say that the efforts of NUPENG so far have not been in vain. We have recorded almost no major accidents this year and according to the records and statistics of FRSC road fatalities occasioned by tanker drivers have reduced drastically, this is good news for us as a Union. It shows our campaign on safety on wheels is yielding the desired results.
“We are happy that we are not only oiling the economic wheel of this nation, we are doing it in such a way that we put the safety of lives and property of Nigerians above personal gains and we spare no cost to achieve this important goal,” he stated
Comrade Afolabi however called on all stakeholders to be alive to their responsibilities and work for the good of the nation especially the oil and gas value chain which is the key driver of Nigeria’s economy.
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PTD Organizes National Safety Training for Members in Lagos

Leaders of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, branch of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, at Jibowu in Lagos on Monday, October 22, 2018 commenced a ”National Safety Training for all Tanker Drivers on Steering” to instill discipline, put a check to accidents on highways and save innocent lives.
National Chairman of PTD, Comrade (Otunba) Salimon Akani Oladiti, at the beginning of the National Safety Training Programme, a five-day programme (Monday Oct 22 to Friday Oct. 26 ), said such training of members was a very critical aspect of the union’s goals and objectives.
Oladiti said the Union was aiming at zero tanker accident in the country and urged the drivers to take the advantages of the training, noting that the training would bring changes in their lives and to other road users.
“When you have an opportunity like this training, you have to make use of it. If you can train yourself again, you can achieve more in life. I am happy to see that today, the training and retraining organized by this branch of NUPENG had been able to impact discipline in tanker drivers, and to reduce accident to barest minimum taking into cognizance minimum safety standards”
Comrade Oladiti also took time to expose 61 members of the Union who had been expelled due to misconducts, including fraudulent activities. According to him, those sanctioned will not be employed any longer in the industry because they pose danger to the progress of the union.

“The development is imperative as the union will not want to be tagged as one involved in economic sabotage.

“The offences vary from stealing of petroleum products, pipeline vandalism, product adulteration, petroleum products’ theft and illegal bunkering,’’ Oladiti said.

He added that others vices included hijack of truck, manhole manipulation, constant shortage, sales of petroleum product and replacing with bad ones.

He said the training which started three years ago had passed the test of time and equally led to reduction in accidents.

Mr Oladiti said the union had been constantly educating the members on how their contemporaries in developed country operated.

He said that the Union would also ensure the use of modern devices in motoring the members’ activities while on road, saying though, not a new method in most developed countries.

He commended FRSC for its involvement and support in the training since inception of the programme.

The PTD National Chairman further urged members to always be professional in their activities and ensure that their quota contributed positively to national development.

He also condemned a common habit among drivers whereby they remove speedometers from the dashboard of their truck in order not to know their speed.

Besides, the PTD boss noted that the Union would continue collaborating with the FRSC to ensure that petroleum tanker drivers did not become nuisance to the society.

The National President of NUPENG, Comrade Williams Akporeha on his part commended the leadership of Petroleum Tanker Drivers branch of NUPENG for their proactive and visionary initiatives among its members to ensure safety and orderliness on the roads.
Akporeha further said tanker owners must ensure that their vehicles were in good condition to avoid unnecessary crashes.
“We implore you to maintain safety standards and ensure that you do not cut any corners as you go about your businesses,” he said.
Today, I am really impressed that PTD branch of NUPENG and operators of haulage vehicles are conducting regular and relevant training such as this for their drivers, and the drivers are also being taught on how to appreciate safety strategies not only to their advantage only but to other road users.
“It is our joy to see tanker drivers ensuring contents in their vehicles are not dropping on the highways. It doesn’t take any effort for the high inflammable product to explode, if adequate care are not taken. I must also appropriate the efforts of the FRSC and other relevant agencies for their collaborations to ensure safety on our roads ” he said.
Also speaking on Monday was the Federal Road Safety Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi (FRSC) who said economic loss worth N9.8 billion was lost in 196 traffic crashes recorded so far across the country in 2018. He said that the loss involved the cost of other vehicles, lives and damage to the environment and roads.
He, however, said that there was a slight reduction in the number of crashes recorded during the period, compared to previous years. According to him, the agency recorded 282 accidents involving tanker drivers in 2016 and 240 in 2017.

“We have an agreement with NUPENG PTD to organise periodic training programme for their drivers.

“This is very critical even though we have seen reduction in the traffic crashes involving tanker drivers.

“We have recorded 196 this year and the economic value is about N9.8 billion loss, involving cost of other vehicles, lives, damage to the environment and to the roads.

“NUPENG PTD is putting its best to set up capacity workshop for the tanker drivers. Once they finished in Lagos, the other programme will take place in Kaduna and Warri and this is very impressive.

“We are going to give our maximum support to NUPENG towards ensuring that the 4,000 tanker drivers are fully trained,” he said.

The FRSC boss also urged the union to carry out more visual tests on drivers, saying that it had been discovered that 30 per cent of commercial vehicle drivers had visual acuity challenges.

“We encourage them on the visual acuity test. During the study carried out about three months ago, we discovered that 30 per cent of the commercial drivers experience vision acuity challenges.

“Wearing a pair of glasses is not a crime and will not result to loss of jobs but will improve their vision activity measure.’’

He observed that many of the people were hypertensive and with high sugar levels.

He said that it was important for NUPENG PTD to ensure periodic medical examination for its drivers to ensure road safety culture in the country.

Others who were present at the venue were, Deputy President of NUPENG, Comrade Solomon Kilanko, Chairman NUPENG Lagos Zonal Office, Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, Deputy General Secretary of NUPENG in charge of operations, Comrade Olawale Afolabi, Comrade Tokunbo Korodo (Former Lagos Chairman of NUPENG Lagos Zone) etc.

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NUPENG Hosts Editors To Dinner, Unveils Union’s 40th Anniversary Mascot

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The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has formally unveiled its 40th anniversary mascot at a diner and media chat held at Sheraton hotel in Lagos on Saturday October 13, 2018. The colourful ceremony had in attendance editors of print, broadcast, online magazines as well as senior labour and energy correspondents.
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According to the chief host, the President of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha,” The unveiling of NUPENG’s anniversary mascot is the start of what officially becomes the symbol of Union’s landmark 40th anniversary of vibrant unionism, values highlighting distinctive character with long history of bold and indelible achievements in the interest of our members in the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry and Nigeria at large. We are also delighted to inform you about our anniversary theme which we tagged, Nigeria Oil and Gas Workers: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, with the slogan, NUPENG at 40, still waxing strong.”  Comrade Akporeha said.
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The anniversary mascot was clothed with a star-like garment reflecting the Union’s colour (blue/white) with different icons, one of which was the Union’s traditional logo, oil rig, tank farm, petroleum tanker, and a filling station. These significant icons are clear description of some of the sectors where the Union usually draws its membership from.
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The anniversary mascot has also been designed in form of stickers, car air fresheners and will accordingly appear on the Union’s branded face-caps, wrist bands, and other promotional items during the anniversary season. It will also be mounted at the Union’s National secretariats, zonal secretariats, liaison offices, etc.
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Impressively, the beautifully designed mascot creatively captured the essence of the remarkable historic moment of the Union, and the unveiling ceremony was done by the national president of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha alongside his team of national executives, led by the Union’s General Secretary Comrade Adamu Song, followed by the Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations, Comrade Afolabi Adewale.Others were Comrade Alex Agwanwor (National Treasurer), Comrade Monday Osunde (National Trustee), Comrade Rotimi Benjamin (Vice President Lagos), Comrade Otite Onohwohwo (PAGS Admin), Comrade Anthony Chukwu (PAGS Finance/Account), Comrade Adamson Momoh (PAGS Research P/A), Comrade Tayo Aboyeji (Chairman Lagos Zone) and other secretariat staff.

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The Deputy General Secretary of the Union, Comrade Olawale Afolabi however took time to narrate the journey of the Union in the last 4 decades through a projected powerpoint presentation which captured the mission, objective, scope, membership, past Presidents and General Secretaries of the Union etc. Before this presentation was made, the audience enjoyed a short documentary about the Union and this was projected intermittently on the big screen to their delight.

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The public ceremony was a kick off to numerous activities that are specifically organized to commemorate the Union’s anniversary. According to the leadership of the Union, December 5th and 6th are the days set aside for the full-swing ceremonies of the anniversary which will hold in Abuja, precisely at the International Conference Centre.
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Some of the activities slated for the anniversary are, colourful exhibition of oil gas products, tools and equipment, cultural competitions, talk shows which will involve the Union’s veterans (past presidents and secretaries) and other high profile personalities in the society etc.

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In addition, campaign messages will also be populated on the Union’s various social media platforms and on the Union’s official website, albeit, the traditional media will also not be left out for dissemination of similar information within this period.

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Besides, awards and recognition will also go to some hard working and illustrious members of staff and those who have served meritoriously for a reasonable number of years; this will also be extended to individuals, corporate organizations, and other key social partners who have contributed immensely to the overall growth and development of the country’s oil and gas industry and ultimately those that have engendered peaceful and harmonious industrial relations. NUPENG has also deemed it necessary to offer same gesture to the President of Nigeria, His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari who would be deservedly honoured with a prestigious award of ”GCOGN” Grand Comrade of Oil and Gas Workers’ Union of Nigeria.

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NUPENG over the past four decades has commendably saddled itself with the task of organizing and unionizing oil and gas workers, negotiating better working conditions and benefits for workers through purpose driven collective bargaining agreement, assisting in resolving disputes between its members and their employers, resolving disputes among its members, promoting and encouraging international fraternal relations with bodies having the interest of petroleum and natural gas workers at heart, organizing education and training programmes for members among others laudable functions and responsibilities.

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”STOP PRECARIOUS WORK DAY”: PETITION TO THE HONOURABLE MINISTER ON PRECARIOUS WORK SITUATION IN NIGERIA

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7th October 2018

Dr. Chris Ngige

Honourable Minister of Labour and Productivity

Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity

Federal Secretariat

Abuja – FCT

A PETITION TO THE HONOURABLE MINISTER ON PRECARIOUS WORK SITUATION IN NIGERIA

7th October is marked worldwide as a day for Decent Work.  Consequently, the National Council of INDUSTRIALL GLOBAL UNION FEDERATION in Nigeria consisting of the following seven Affiliates: National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN); National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber and Non-Metallic Product Employees (NUCFRLANMPE; National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE); Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG); Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria(SEWUN); Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association(PENGASSAN); Chemical and Non-metallic  Product Senior Staff Association (CANMPSSAN); and AUTOBATE  join the global force of over 50 million members taking action against all forms of precarious work.

Precarious work refers to work relationship with no distinct terms of employment such as the letter of employment stating the terms and conditions of employment.  Precarious workers are indirect employees who are hired, supervised and remunerated by a contractor who in turn is compensated by the Company. Thus Industrial relations practice is virtually absent in the environment of precarious work since trade unions are not allowed to organise workers. Workers are not allowed to have representation or interface with the Principal or the Contractor {Hiring Party} who most times has no identifiable address or formal structure to facilitate Industrial relations.

This development is great assault on the welfare and dignity of Workers and it has negative consequences for the union as well. The effects on workers and trade unions are quite obvious and include some of the following:

  • Lack of employment contract
  • Lack of job security
  • Long hours of work beyond statutory 8 hours
  • Non Payment of overtime
  • Low and uncertain wages
  • Poor working conditions
  • Non-payment of pension contribution etc
  • Denial of workers right to join the union and bargain collectively among others

Precarious Work has led to increasing erosion of basic workers rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.  The use of temporary/casual workers has led to depletion in the membership and capacity to organize in all sectors that include oil and gas, chemical and non-metallic, steel and engineering, electricity and textile.

In the Steel and Engineering sector there has been denial of recognition for the union in Standard Metallurgical Industries limited, Mikano Nigeria Limited and Iron Products Industy Limited (IPI ltd) all in a bid to continue to perpetuate unfair labour practices rendering more than a thousand employees as casuals and contract workers.

In the Oil and Gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have embarked on perennial campaigns and struggle to get SHELL, CHEVRON and other International Oil Companies operate in accordance with our labour laws and international labour standards.  These include refusal to allow unionization of contract staff, fragmentation of contract to frustrate the efforts of the union in organising precarious workers and pressurizing workers to sign pre-engagement undertaking for non-membership of the union. Recently, the NUPENGASSAN expressed worries and concerns with the manner Chevron’s management was executing the end of M-15 and H-15 contacts ending by October 31, 2018 which was laced with hidden plans and intention to unilaterally sack thousands of contract workers despite the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.

In the Chemical and Non-Metallic sector, several Industries are denying the union the right to organise. These include CDK Industries, Sagamu, Emzor pharmaceuticals, Fine Coats, Orange Drugs Pharmaceuticals, Fidson Pharmaceuticals and Dangote Cement Factories among others. In particular, the unions frowned at the biased role of the Ministry’s Official in the handling of the redundancy exercise in Swiss Pharmaceuticals and in condoning the Executive lawlessness of Mr Gaby Elichoury, the Managing Director.

In the power sector, our affiliate NUEE is battling entrenched tradition of precarious since privatization of PHCN. Egbin power Plc leads the assault on Workers rights perennially denying workers the right to join the union. Egbin power plant is involved in the militarization of the workplace by deployment of soldiers to harass and intimidate especially those interested in union membership. It is regrettable that after more than four years of operation, the giant power generation unit is yet to negotiate and put in place conditions of service based on collective bargaining. Similarly Electricity distribution Companies (DISCOS) in Enugu, Ikeja and Benin refused to sign and implement conditions of service for workers negotiated over four years now. Both generation and distribution companies engage in arbitrary lay-off of workers without laid down procedure.

Further, it is unacceptable that the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) and Nigeria Industrial Court (NIC) will deliver judgements and employers will disregard such judgements.  A  typical example is the case of SINO PP Woven Sack in Kano where the Textile Union has strived since 2003 to organize the workers.  As at today, the Chinese employer is yet to respect the judgement of the apex court of Nigeria, the National Industrial Court (NIC).

Under section 40 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 9 (6a) and 9(6b) of the Labour Act Cap 198 Laws of the Federation 1990, Nigeria workers have unfettered rights to associate and join the union.  We stand on a solid premise knowing that we have protective legislations that guarantee basic employment and trade union rights. We are also assured of the enormous protection that comes from Nigeria’s ratification of conventions 87 and 98 of the ILO on the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

We therefore demand immediate end to all forms of employment that offend human dignity and deny workers access to living wages, social protection and denial of the right to join the union. We ask employers of labour to respect the law and where the law is observed in breach, the ministry of labour and other agencies of Government should enforce the law.

Finally, we demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour under the leadership of Dr Chris Ngige stand up and renew its commitment and will to further enhance its monitoring duties and ensure that every employer complies with the provisions of our labour laws.

Please be assured of our esteemed regards as we look forward to fundamental changes in the operations of the Ministry and improved inspection, monitoring and enforcement of our labour laws.

Olatunji B.G                                                                         Ismail Bello

Chairman                                                                              Secretary

PRESS RELEASE ISSUED TO MARK WORLD DECENT DAY BY NIGERIA NATIONAL INDUSTRIALL GLOBAL UNION 9TH OCTOBER, 2018

PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED ON THE OCCASION OF THE WORLD DECENT DAY MARKED BY NIGERIA NATIONAL COUNCIL OF INDUSTRIALL GLOBAL UNION FEDERATION ON TUESDAY 9TH OCTOBER, 2018

October 7 is observed worldwide as Decent Work Day. The occasion is used by Industrial Global Union Federation to mobilize its Affiliates to take action to stop precarious work in our workplaces.

In Nigeria, IndustriALL affiliates  including National Union of Textile, Garment and Tailoring Workers of Nigeria (NUTGTWN), National Union of Chemical, Footwear, Rubber and Non-Metallic Product Employees (NUCFRLANMPE), National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers(NUPENG), Steel and Engineering Workers Union of Nigeria(SEWUN), Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association(PENGASSAN), Chemical and Non-metallic  Product Senior Staff Association (CANMPSSAN) and AUTOBATE  join the global force of over 50 million members taking action against all forms of precarious work.

According to the ILO, Decent work involves opportunity for work  that is productive and delivers a fair income, Security in the workplace and social integration, freedom for people to express their concerns and organize for the purpose of collective bargaining and social Dialogue, equal opportunity for all men and women.

But there is a huge gap between these ideals and our reality in our different sectors. In Nigeria, companies are replacing their full time workforce with temporary, casual, outsourced and contract workers at frightening rate. In the oil and Gas, Manufacturing and Energy sectors where our Affiliates operate, employers now hide behind what they call the “core” value of their business to casualise over 70 per cent of their work force through outsourcing and contract employment.

Casual, Outsourced and Contract Workers are not protected and are exposed to all kind of abuses, unfair and unjust practices some of which include the following

  • Long or unspecified hours of work
  • Low wages
  • Denial or short payment of overtime
  • Denial of sick leave and payment of sick leave and denial of annual leave and maternity leave
  • Job insecurity, lack of redundancy benefits
  • Poor health and safety conditions
  • Non-payment of compensation for injuries sustained at work
  • Arbitrary deductions and non-remittance of pension contributions and taxes
  • Denial of workers right to join the union and bargain collectively among others

Precarious Work has led to increasing erosion of basic workers rights such as freedom of association and collective bargaining.  The use of temporary/casual workers has led to depletion in the membership and capacity to organize in all sectors that include oil and gas, chemical and non-metallic, steel and engineering, electricity and textile.

 

In the Steel and Engineering sector there has been denial of recognition for the union in Standard Metallurgical Industries limited, Mikano Nigeria Limited and Iron Products Industy Limited (IPI ltd) all in a bid to continue to perpetuate unfair labour practices rendering more than a thousand employees as casuals and contract workers.

 

In the Oil and Gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have embarked on perennial campaigns and struggle to get SHELL, CHEVRON and other International Oil Companies operate in accordance with our labour laws and international labour standards. For instance, while Chevron had decided to close M-15 and H-15 contracts by October 31, 2018, NUPENGASSAN  found it disturbing to see the new Contractors being engaged by Chevron’s management and whose labour contract will take effect on November 1, 2018 to start advertising all jobs despite clear provisionfor ‘roll over’ of existing workers on the jobs , consequent upon which a large number of the current workforce are most likely to be abruptly thrown into the unemployment market in their own Country. The Unions expressed worries and concerns with the manner Chevron’s management was executing the end of M-15 and H-15 contacts ending by October 31 , 2018 which was laced with hidden plans and intention to unilaterally sack thousands of contract workers despite the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.

 

In the Chemical and Non-Metallic sector, several Industries are denying the union the right to organise. These include CDK Industries, Sagamu, Emzor pharmaceuticals, Fine Coats, Orange Drugs Pharmaceuticals, Fidson Pharmaceuticals and dangote cement Factories among others. In particular, the unions frowned at the biased role of the Ministry’s Official in the handling of the redundancy exercise in Swiss Pharmaceuticals and in condoning the Executive lawlessness of Mr Gaby Elichoury, the Managing Director.

 

In the power sector, our affiliate NUEE is battling entrenched tradition of precarious work since privatization of PHCN. Egbin power Plc leads the assault on workers’ rights perennially denying workers the right to join the union. Egbin power plant is involved in the militarization of the workplace by deployment of soldiers to harass and intimidate especially those interested in union membership. It is regrettable that after more than four years of operation, the giant power generation unit is yet to negotiate and put in place conditions of service based on collective bargaining. Similarly Electricity distribution Companies (DISCOS) in Enugu, Ikeja and Benin refused to sign and implement conditions of service for workers negotiated over four years now. Both generation and distribution companies engage in arbitrary lay-off of workers without laid down procedure.

 

Further, it is unacceptable that the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) and Nigeria Industrial Court  (NIC) will deliver judgements and employers will disregard such judgements.  A  typical example is the case of SINO PP Woven Sack in Kano where the Textile Union has strived since 2003 to organize the workers.  As at today, the Chinese employer is yet to respect the judgement of the apex court of Nigeria, the National Industrial Court (NIC).

 

Under section 40 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Section 9 (6a) and 9(6b) of the Labour Act Cap 198 Laws of the Federation 1990, Nigeria workers have unfettered rights to associate and join the union. It is also an essential part of the ILO’S fundamental principles and rights at work that workers shall be free to exercise the right to freedom of association and the right to organize and engage in collective bargaining as contained in conventions 87 and 98 and Nigeria is signatory to these conventions.

We therefore demand immediate end to all forms of employment that offend human dignity and deny workers access to living wages, social protection and denial of the right to join the union. We ask employers of labour to respect the law and where the law is observed in breach, the ministry of labour and other agencies of Government should enforce the law.

Finally, we demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour under the leadership of Dr Chris Ngige stand up and renews its commitment and will to further enhance its monitoring duties and ensure that every employer complies with the provisions of our labour laws.

 

Aluta Continua.

 

OLATUNJI B.G                                                         ISMAIL BELLO

CHAIRMAN                                                              SECRETARY

NUPENG, Other IndustriALL Affiliates Demonstrate In Lagos Against Precarious Work

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and other trade Unions under the umbrella body of IndustriALL on Tuesday gathered in Lagos to show full force of the global union movement to observe and canvass for a stop to precarious work perpetrated by various employers of labour.

The Unions are pushing against this reprehensible tide through various initiatives like organizing precarious workers, fighting laws that expand precarious work and mobilizing in support of secure employment with good pay and working conditions for their long abused and neglected members.

7th October of every year is a day set aside specifically to observe the World Day for Decent Work, usually tagged “Stop Precarious Work Day”. Although the 2018 edition was on Sunday (7th October 2018), but was however marked by the concerned unions to drive home their points on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 in Lagos at NUPENG National Secretariat.

Few hours after statements were made by Presidents and leaders of different affiliates of IndustriALL, including ULC President, Comrade Joe Ajero and NUPENG President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, workers subsequently moved to Lagos office of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Ikoyi to submit their joint communique so that their legitimate demands could be formally and urgently addressed by the government.

The workers during the industrial demonstrations displayed placards containing various messages that preached against unfair Labour practices by employers. Some of the affiliates that took part were, PENGASSAN, NUEE, NUCFLAMPE, NUTGWN, and SEWUN.

NUPENG Joins WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU To Picket South Africa Ministry of Health Over Anti-Labour Conducts

Members of upper echelon of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Workers (NUPENG) who are presently in South Africa have identified with WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU, others in solidarity to picket the country’s Federal Ministry of Health in Pretoria, South Africa in protest against injustice and other anti-labour activities bedeviling workers in the health sector in Rainbow nation.

NUPENG General Secretary, Comrade Adamu Song and National Treasurer, Comrade Alex Agwanwor  were conspicuously seen outside the Ministry’s secretariat with placards conveying various inscriptions which are meant to condemn  poor conditions of service of workers in South Africa.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions also applauds the move by WFTU to declare 3rd October 2018 “the International Day of Action” fighting for workplace safety, free healthcare and social security, implementing action under the 2018 theme of “Social Services and Health”.

The 3rd of October marks the WFTU 73rd Anniversary and in celebration of this milestone, WFTU convened an education seminar which introduced working class internationalism to participants; which was held on 1-2 October 2018, and today (October 3, 2018) marks its anniversary with a picket at the Department of Health Head Office in Pretoria.

South Africa is faced with serious challenges in the health sector, workplaces and social security. This picket couldn’t have come at the right time as South Africa faces serious corruption and neglect of social security issues.

In the past year, they have experienced increase in workplace injuries and deaths particularly in the mining sector; the health sector has been experiencing lack of resources both human and financial plunging the sector deeper into crisis while serious allegations of corruption in the sector have been reported and to some extent proven. In the month of August, they saw the death of workers who were trying to extinguish fire in a non compliant building, which should never have been occupied in the first place, one death is one too many.

In this regards, COSATU fully supports initiative fighting a just struggle for the working class and the poor. We stand as one with the WFTU in the demands for:

a) Overhaul the infrastructure to improve health and safety standards of health care establishments.

b) Fill all funded vacant posts to respond to staffing needs and address staff shortages.

c) Improve laundry services to restore dignity of health care users and adhere to infection, prevention and control principles.

d) Centralise pharmaceutical services to ensure availability of medicines and supplies.

e) Fill all Managers’ posts to foster accountability and responsibility over the provision of health care.

f) Increase the number of Emergency Service Vehicles and maintain roadworthiness of available emergency vehicles.

g) Invest in skilled workforce to capacitate health care personnel with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience.

h) Improve information management systems in all health establishments.

i) Implement relevant Quality Management Systems in order to reduce laboratory tests expenditure.

j) Total integration of Community Health Workers into the Public health system.

k) Establishment and implementation of good Governance practices across the Sector.

l) Efficient integration of Mental Health Services at Primary level with support from specialized Institutions.

m) Integration of NHLS in to the Department of Health.

n) The NHLS Board & Management adopt good Governance practices in the running of the entity.

o) NHLS to stop prosecuting NEHAWU shop stewards and trying to weaken the union.

p) NHLS to immediately stop unilateral restructuring and assisting Capital in sabotaging the NHI.

NUPENG, WFTU, COSATO, NEHAWU, others are pleased with the picket as it validates the COSATU agenda and demand for comprehensive social security, NHI, ending violence in the work place as well accountability of employers in ensuring health and safety in the workplace.

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Precarious Work Destroying Workers’ Lives in Nigerian Oil & Gas Industry

Precarious work destroying workers’ lives in Nigerian oil and gas industry Contract work and casualization of the oil and gas industry is having a dire impact on trade unions and the lives of workers in Nigeria, according to IndustriALL Global Union’s affiliates in African’s largest oil producing country.

Some 25 representatives from IndustriALL affiliates, the National Union of Petroleum & Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) met in the southern city of Port Harcourt for an oil and gas workshop on 19 and 20 September 2018.

Testimonials from members of NUPENG, which represents blue-collar workers, and PENGASSAN, which represents white collar workers, revealed the extent to which precarious work in the sector is undermining unions and leading to a vicious cycle of poverty.

Participants worked across a range of companies including: Total, Shell, Indorama, the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Plant Geria and Halliburton. All NUPENG’s members are contract workers, while PENGASSAN reported that jobs that were once permanent are now being casualized, even though the work remains the same. Participants reported that in some cases workers are made redundant and then immediately being rehired for the same job with no medical insurance, life insurance or redundancy benefits.

The gulf between working conditions experienced by permanent staff and contract workers in the industry is huge, said participants and unions agreed that more should be done to close the gap. A contract worker could earn around US$280 a month for doing the same job as a permanent worker earning around US$2,000, or even more.

Furthermore, precarious work is being used by the oil companies to destroy unions. Contract workers often find they are unlikely to get rehired once they join a union, while white-collar workers find do not have the same access to training or promotion opportunities if they are union members.

Unions also said Nigerian workers do not have the same training opportunities as foreign workers, and that expatriates are being used to do jobs that could easily be done by Nigerian workers. Stagnant wages are another major problem, with NUPENG saying that wages have not increased since 2014, and in some cases longer.

Health and safety is an ongoing issue and unions agreed that workers need to be better educated about the rights, especially when it came to health and safety.  Industry 4.0 is affecting the industry – an accountant from PENGASSAN said that part of his role had been taken over by a robot at his company.

Automation is also being used to do jobs in the lubricant sector, such as labelling and filling cans. Vassey Lartson, a Shell Lab Technician and union representative, who attended the workshop on behalf of the United Steelworkers (USA), told participants he was shocked by the wage disparity between Shell workers in the USA and those in Nigeria. Vassey joined a visit to meet workers at a Shell facility in Port Harcourt the day before the workshop, which included a visit to workers’ impoverished homes.

The meeting also included a reportfrom Charles Egwabor, a lawyer from Port Harcourt, who said high unemployment in Nigeria made it easier to casualize the labour market, which in turn further increases poverty in the country.

IndustriALL’s director for energy, Diana Junquera Curiel, said: “This workshop has been truly valuable in hearing the problems and challenges facing unions in Nigeria first-hand. We commend our affiliates in their battle to fight precarious work as well as the other challenges in the industry, and we stand by to support them as they campaign for decent work in the oil and gas sector.”

NUPENG Holds Emergency NAC Meeting, Applauds President Akporeha for Entrenching Institutional Reforms & Progress 

Members of the enlarged National Administrative Council (NAC) of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) had on Saturday (Sept 29, 2018) lauded the style of leadership of the Union’s President, Comrade Williams Akporeha, saying he has made a lot of institutional reforms since he officially assumed office on April 6, 2018.

NAC during its emergency meeting unanimously stated that the President has made a lot of institutional reforms in the Union and his agenda on taking the Union to the next level is on course with records of many positive milestones.

The President, Comrade Akporeha on his part showed appreciation to the encomiums he received at the high profile meeting and promised to do more.

He further emphasized on the new approach the Union is using to press home its demands in the interest of its members with a resolve to entrench harmonious and peaceful industrial relations in the overall interest of the Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

The astute and very reticent but firm President also noted that his leadership will not hesitate to place the needs and interests of the Union above anything else and there is no going back on all the promises he made when he formally assumed office in April 2018.

Apart from the President, others who were part of the meeting included, Comrade Adamu Song (General Secretary), Comrade Solomon Kilanko (Deputy President), Comrade Bassey Harry (Deputy President), Comrade Alex Agwanwor (National Treasurer), Comrade Monday Osunde (National Trustee), Comrade Afolabi Olawale (Deputy General Secretary in charge of operations), Comrade Rotimi Benjamin (Vice President Lagos).

Also in attendance were the National Chairman of PTD branch of NUPENG Comrade (Otunba) Akanni Oladiti, Comrade Joke Oyeleke (Welfare Officer), Comrade Otite Onohwohwo (PAGS Admin), Comrade Anthony Chukwu (Finance/Account), Comrade Adamson Momoh (PAGS Research P/A), Comrade Tayo Aboyeji (Chairman Lagos Zone) Comrade Ogbodo Thompson (National Auditor), Comrade Prince Moses (National Chief Whip) and others.

NNPC Urges NUPENG, PENGASSAN To Halt Planned Strike

The Group Managing Director (GMD), NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru, has urged oil workers to halt their planned strike over a labour dispute involving Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) management and the staff.

The unions are National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

Baru made the appeal in a statement by NNPC’s Group Public Affairs Manager, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, in Abuja on Sunday.

The GMD, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, said he had directed the management to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issues raised by the leadership of the unions.

He appealed to the unions not to do anything that would disrupt the industrial harmony that had pervaded the sector.

The group managing director expressed fears that the gains of the recent past in the sector, if care was not taken, could be frittered away inadvertently.

He however expressed optimism that the current dispute would be settled amicably.

It would be recalled that the unions had recently called on the National Assembly to intervene in the brewing impasse between CNL and its staff in Nigeria.

The unions further urged the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC and the Department of State Services (DSS) to also intervene.

The disagreements borders on the Chevron’s disclosure that the contracts with all its manpower services providers would expire by the end of October, 2018.

Consequently, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, last week Wednesday, put their members on red alert.

Meanwhile, the NNPC has allayed concerns of petroleum product consumers over possible hiccups in supply in parts of the country due to the workers’ ultimatum.

It gave the assurance that the corporation had adequate storage of petroleum products across the country to take care of the national demand.