GEORGE KINGSLEY PAPAMIE, Acting Bureau Chief (South-South) Port Harcourt.
The National body of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers Union of Nigeria (PENGASSAN)
has incidentally shut down Baker Hughes , an oil and Gas oil servicing company at Trans-Amadi in Port Harcourt, for rejecting a Collective Bargaining Agreement, CBA signed at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige on July 17, 2016.Speaking to the Daily Champion in Port Harcourt on Monday at Trans-Amadi in Port Harcourt during a protest, Branch Chairman of PENGASSAN, Biodun Olabiyi, said the protest is connected to the alleged victimization of about 20 employees of Baker Hughes, who indicated interest to join PENGASSAN.
Biodun also said the Union was on a social solidarity as a rallying point to ensure that employees of Baker Hughes were unionized and expressed regrets why the company continued to exhibit reckless disregard for concluded negotiations.
He explained that PENGASSAN was still leveraging strong networks to ensure that union dues were deducted from the employees’ salaries , but expressed disappointment over the lack will by Baker Hughes to allow the union deduct union dues to enable the branch union of PENGASSAN remit the same to the National body.
The PENGASSAN branch Chairman called on the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, to use his good offices to call the companyto adhere to the agreement and also urge the company to recall all employees sacked as a result of their involvement in union activities.
According to Biodun, “since after we had the CBA agreement with Baker Hughes at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Productivity , Dr. Chris Ngige, the management of the company has been incessantly victimizing employees and these actions are against the provisions of Labour Laws and the Protecting Power of employees in the Laws of our land. It is a lacuna that needs urgent surgical attention . The activities of Baker Hughes towards staff are practically inhuman and degrading in nature”.
Biodun further said: “PENGASSAN is worried that, in a democratic atmosphere, appalling activities of Baker Hughes underpins approaches that connotes aggression and flagrant violation of existing legal norms in the country, and urged the company to work according to the provisions of the Collective Bargaining Agreement ,CBA for peace and tranquility to thrive between the employer and employee relationship”.
All efforts by the Daily Champion to reach the Management of Baker Hughes proved abortive.