Nigeria: Workers threaten with strike over dispute with Chevron

This article has been updated

The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) on Monday issued a 7- day Ultimatum to the Federal Government on the unresolved issues affecting Chevron contract workers over alleged anti-labor practices stating it will start a nation-wide strike action if the Federal Government fails to intervene. 

There is an ongoing termination of the jobs of its members, NUPENG said in a statement signed by its president, Igwe Achese.

NUPENG stresses that despite the intervention of the Federal Ministries of Labour and Petroleum Resources, Chevron and its labour contractors have not deemed it fit to honour the resolutions reached at all its meetings. NUPENG adds that some of the unresolved issues include job categorization of its members who have worked as contract staff for over 25 years.

“But Chevron Nigeria Limited in their bid to deplete the numerical strength of NUPENG, introduced an obnoxious criteria of using remuneration to determine which union the contract workers should belong to in the company,” the union said in the statement.

Other issues include the massive retirement of its members by the management of the various Chevron Labour Contractors without due process, NUPENG added.

The union states that some of the workers transited from the former six Contractors to the new sixteen Contractors were not paid their full entitlements as documented by National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) and were therefore short paid.

NUPENG adds that all agreements reached with the Federal Ministry of Labour were reneged by Chevron and that they even refused to appear in a meeting convened by the Group Managing Director of the NNPC in Abuja last week.

Furthermore, the union also states that Chevron “has begun secret recruitment of workers in order to phase out NUPENG members and that will be resisted at all cost”.

NUPENG calls on the Federal Government, and its agencies, the Federal Ministry of Labour, NNPC to intervene or face a nationwide strike at the expiration of the 7- day ultimatum adding that it will not issue any fresh ultimatum over this matter.

Offshore Energy Today reached out to Chevron seeking more info about the workers’ crisis in Nigeria. In an e-mail to Offshore Energy Today, Chevron’s spokesperson said: “Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, continues to honor the invitations of constituted authorities aimed at resolving labor issues, while encouraging NUPENG and the third party employees to embrace dialogue with their employers and obey the law.

“We also encourage all groups with any perceived grievance to follow due process and the rule of law. CNL reiterates its commitment to international best practices in labor relations and wishes to state that the safety and security of its workforce, employees and contractors alike, remains its highest priority.”

The article above has been updated to include a statement by Chevron. 

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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