By Esenvosa Izah
Labour unions in the oil and gas sector have directed their members in Chevron Nigeria Limited to commence a total shut down of the company’s operations following the sack of 600 Nigerian employees and other anti-Labour practices by the management of the company.
The Unions, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and the Petroelum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) gave the directive in a joint statement on Sunday.
NUPENG’S President, Mr Williams Akporeha, and the President, PENGASSAN, Mr Festus Osifo, said: “We have directed our members in Chevron to withdraw their services.
“We also call on the Federal Government to call Chevron Management to order, otherwise we can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the oil and gas sector.
“Here is our fatherland and we have a labour law that regulates the activities of organisations in Nigeria; this law cannot be breached; We must follow the process.”
The duo alleged that Chevron management on Independence Day, notified about 2,000 of its employees that their services were no longer required.
Both leaders also alleged that the Chevron management had asked those employees who were still interested in working with them to apply afresh.
“This development runs contrary to Nigeria’s laws regulating the Oil and Gas industry as it does not protect our national interest.
“This is an imperialist agenda that must not be allowed to stay; most especially as we have just finished celebrating our 60th independence as a sovereign country,” the duo said.
Earlier in a statement, Chevron’s General Manager Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, said the welfare and safety of its workforce was one of its highest priorities.
Brikinn said: “Making changes to the organisation is never easy for anyone that will be impacted, but it is to improve our ability to remain competitive in Nigeria.
“Reducing the cost and improving the efficiency of our operations are critical to generating more revenues for the Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.