CHEVRON AND ITS CONTRACTOR SHOULD RE-ENGAGE OUR SACKED 32 MEMBERS WITHIN 7 DAYSemmanuel ajibule
The National leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) with deep frustration is grossly disappointed about the directive of Chevron Nigeria Limited to its Contractor, Cordeau Nigeria Limited to sack all its 32 workers for insisting on being NUPENG members.
This obnoxious act of Chevron and its employment Contractor which was viciously carried out at the twilight of 2019 was in bad fate and an affront to Labour/workers’ rights and also human rights relating to labour relations between workers and employers, codified in national and international labour and employment law.
These rights influence working conditions of workers’ employment, and one of the most central is the right to freedom of association, otherwise known as the right to organize; and workers organized in trade union exercise such right to collectively bargain so as to improve their working conditions which is in tandem with International Labour Organization’s convention and other known extant rules practiced anywhere in the world.
For Chevron to act in contrary to the existing provisions of the law, legitimacy and legality is what we cannot understand and we would do everything within our powers constitutionally to protect the rights and the interests of our affected members some of whom are already hospitalized as a result of the shock they got from their purported sack by their employer few hours before year 2020.
We are still surpised that despite previous agreements and existing understanding on other separate matters between the union and Chevron Nigeria Limited, which was orchestrated by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS), the Ministry of Labour and Employment, and other stakeholders in the industry, Chevron could still embark on such unthinkable, inhuman, retrogressive and anti labour infractions without consultations and not also minding the attendant negative implications this will have on the country socio-economically.
NUPENG with every atom of strength in us is vehemently opposed to this unpatriotic and uncivilized move in view of our assertive commitment to the protection of jobs of our members and considering the high level of unemployment in the country which is directly responsible for the increasing cases of insecurity, deviant behaviours among our youths and other tensed and challenging situations in Nigeria.
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 however using this medium to reach out to the management of Chevron to call back to work all the sacked workers forthwith.
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 (7) days, effective today (Wednesday, January 1, 2020), 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.
The National leadership of NUPENG is equally not unaware that the Warri Zonal Council of our union had picketed the facility of the affected workers; we would like to put it on record that we empathize with them and share in their worries, agonies, regrets and grief, and we painfully say we would not retreat until the needful is done in their overall interest, but urge them to remain law abiding, calm and civil. For a fact, this is not a new year gift anyone could ever wished for even his worst enemy.
Meanwhile, as a law abiding and socially responsible trade union who understands the collateral damage industrial action could have on the economy of our nation especially in the entire petroleum resources value chain, we are using this medium to call on the Federal Government, particularly the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, NNPC, National Assembly and other key industry players to intervene on this matter so that Oil and Gas workers will not suffer and be traumatized or unjustly thrown to the unemployment market in the instance of Chevron and its Contractor.
Our solidarity remains constant for the Union makes us strong.
Comrade (Prince) Williams Eniredonana Akporeha,
National President of NUPENG,
Comrade Afolabi Olawale,
General Secretary of NUPENG.