Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) weekend in Lagos, issued a 21-day ultimatum to employers in the Nigerian oil and gas to address alleged unfair labour practices in the sub sector.
NUPENG President Prince Williams Akporeha, who gave the ultimtaum on behalf of the union during a press conference, also alleged that over 500 union members had not been paid after working for some international oil companies.
He said the union was compelled to issue the e ultimatum against the backdrop of steady redundancies, casualization and precarious working conditions of oil and gas workers, including refusal to allow unionization ad collective agreement by some employers.
He also expressed displeasure over alleged failure of the Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), employers of members of NUPENG’S subsidiary, the Petroleum Tanker Drivers to implement the Collective Agreement (CBA) reached with the union since 2016.
Akporeha said: “This is alien to our extant industrial rules. Some of the workers have died, while others are roaming the streets because they could not get their money. A prominent oil company, which is among the debtors claimed that it cannot locate the contractor who hired the workers to do the job. This is sad’’.
Condemning the ill-treatment of oil and gas workers in the industry by the multinational oil companies, who use them as slaves in their motherland, Apkoreha said: “these portfolio investors cannot continue to make billions in our country whilst their employees who are Nigerians suffer gross impoverishment and other precarious conditions.
The NUPENG helmsman decried the activities of some contract workers ‘ contractors engaged by some oil and gas multinationals who have refused to pay Nigerian workers their end of contract benefits having relieved them from active service.
“This is not only criminal but we see It as a slap on Nigeria and its government. It is the responsibility of these oil companies whose contractors are culpable of this reprehensible act to prevail on them in order to revert to honour and decency”, he also said.
He restated NUPENG’S commitment to promoting, preserving and protecting the interest of the working class, stressing that the union would remain unperturbed and watch the rot and deterioration in employment relations matters in the industry.
Akporeha called on relevant stakeholders particularly the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Nigeria Conents Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and Oil and Gas Private Trade Sector (OPTS), among others, to urgently apprehend the looming industrial relations crisis by addressing the union’s demands.
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