The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to shut-down oil and gas operations over alleged anti-labour practices by two oil companies.
The companies are the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC) and the Onne Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Authority (OGFTZA).
The union, in a communiqué at the end of its Eastern council meeting in Port Harcourt, on Monday, said that Plantgeria Limited and BK Tubulars, contractors to NOAC and OGFTZA, failed to honour its directive to stop workers’ victimisation.
The union’s Port Harcourt zonal Chairman, Mr Godwin Eruba, said at a news conference that the union would embark on strike if the companies failed to resolve issues raised by the union at the end of 14 days.
“NOAC should as a matter of urgency respect the April and June 2014 letters from NAPIMS directing it to discuss the Stop-Gap contract of Turbines and related equipment maintenance in OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with Arco petroleum Limited.
“The refusal of NOAC to obey this directive has posed a great threat to the jobs of our members in Arco who have contributed to the economic growth of this country since the contractor mobilised to site on that contract in 2006.
“The alleged replacement contractor (of Arco), Plantegeria Nigeria Limited, has concluded plans to cut the workforce by 60 per cent and cut the existing collectively-negotiated salaries by 40 per cent.
“Plantegeria also plans to force the (remaining) workers’ to sign a yellow-dog contract denouncing membership of NUPENG or PENGASSAN.”
Eruba said that NOAC should reverse the recently terminated service contracts of workers’ in Lagos, Port Harcourt, OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale locations.
He said that NOAC sub-contractors had yet to pay salary arrears owed workers ranging from three months to one year in all the locations.
“All the 13 workers whose jobs were terminated in April 2014 by the management of BK Tubulars Nigerian Limited in connivance with the management of OGFTZA in Onne be recalled.
“The state governments, Federal Government, oil majors in the sector and other relevant stakeholders should wade into this matter within 14 days of this resolution or face the prospect of (our) service withdrawal.
“This withdrawal will adversely affect both the upstream and downstream sectors, including petroleum tanker drivers and petrol station workers in solidarity with the affected workers.”
The union also called on management of NOAC and Onne OGFTZA to set up a tripartite committee as directed by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity to resolve the issue.
The NUPENG Eastern zone comprises Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Ebonyi, Enugu, Cross River, Imo, and Rivers.