The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Monday backed industrial action by oil workers, under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) over the sack of 175 workers by Chevron Nigeria Limited, for joining a trade union.
While condemning the sack of 174 Chevron workers, the congress, in a statement signed by its President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba, supported the ultimatum given by NUPENG to Chevron management.
NUPENG had last Thursday given the management of Chevron a seven-day ultimatum to recall the sacked workers and called on the Minister of Labour and Employment to intervene immediately, otherwise, it threatened to call out its members for a strike.
Supporting one of its affiliates, the NLC said: “We endorse the seven days ultimatum given by our affiliate in the sector – the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) – to the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited to comply with the foregoing demands or risk an all-out industrial action. We also call on the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment to intervene swiftly to avoid unnecessary disruption and haemorrhage on our economy.”
In a statement titled: “Nigeria Labour Congress Condemns the Sack of 175 Chevron Workers,” the NLC said: “It was with great concerns that the Nigeria Labour Congress received the news of the sack of 175 Chevron workers across the different operation stations of Chevron Nigeria Limited.
“It is even more heart-rending that these workers were sacked through Whatsapp Messages transmitted by service contractors engaged by Chevron Nigeria Limited. The service contractors used to perpetrate this heinous industrial assault on Nigerian workers include YKISH Integrated Services, EUROFLOW Services and DELOG Services.
“This is not the first time that Chevron Nigeria Limited is baring its tyrannical fangs on Nigerians in its employment. Over the past few months, tens of Nigerian workers have been relieved of their jobs simply because they insisted on exercising their rights to join trade unions of their choice in line with the extant provisions of Section 40 of Nigeria’s constitution, Section 20 of the Labour Act, Convention 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize, Convention 98 of the ILO on the Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining and other related ILO Recommendations and Protocols.”
It added: “We understand that the arbitrary and unlawful disengagement of the affected workers by Chevron is an attempt to evade negotiation and responsibility for a number of anti-worker practices going on in Chevron including the illegal deduction of workers’ benefits since 2012 and failure to refund workers whose appointments were terminated the excess deductions made in their terminal benefits.
“Other grievous infractions against workers by the management of Chevron and its service contractors include sustained discrimination against contract workers as evident by the refusal to pay such workers their quarantine allowances, Chevron’s incitement of host communities against NUPENG members, and refusal to pay 2018 annual vacation allowance.”
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