The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, CNL branch yesterday embarked on a peaceful protest at the headquarters of Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, in Lekki, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria, to protest the sacking of 4,000 workers.
Most of those affected were on Grade Level 14 and below.
Addressing the protesting workers, president of the local branch of NUPENG, Boniface Nwaogwu, condemned the management of the oil company for terminating the contract of the six companies which recruited the 4,000 workers for them.
He said the conversion of the six labour contract namely: Astra contracting, Capital J and 2 Construction, Belong Amussah, Tobisco Nigeria Limited and Glagwyn Industry Limited, to service contract was unacceptable to NUPENG.
Nwaogu pointed out that the labour contracts employed by CNL had ensured adequate service delivery to the company since their inception. He condemned CNL’s action, describing it as injustice to human service, labour and dignity.
“After many years of service, employees on level 14 and below were laid off without any gratuity or benefit while those from level 15 and above were considerably benefited with retirement benefit.”
Speaking during the protest, the financial secretary of CNL branch of NUPENG, Sheula Ajibola, stated that a suit had been instituted against CNL over the matter.
“A case is in court presently and it was adjourned till February, 2013 but CNL has instructed the salary arm of the company to pay off the affected staff. The union is against this action. We are of the agreement that the law in the country must work. When a case is in court, parties must allow it to run its course.”
The Zonal Assistant General Secretary, Comrade Christopher Ekpebe, pointed out that the conversion of the labour contract to service contract is to prevent individual participation in the union which is unachievable in the service contract.
Speaking on the way forward, the NUPENG zonal secretary, Comrade Phillip Idogbe, said the peaceful demonstration will continue. “The struggle continues until CNL honours the current collective bargaining agreement that the workers have with the six labour contractors and all affected workers paid their gratuity and eligible workers paid their retirement benefit, if they wish to change from labour contract to service contract.”