1,444 workers sacked by ExxonMobil demand N11.4bn benefits

18 March 2013, Abuja – Former workers of the US oil major, ExxonMobil, in Nigeria are demanding immediate payment of their terminal benefits from the oil company, totalling about N11.4 billion.

The workers, numbering about 1,444, have been sacked by ExxonMobil.
The workers, who addressed journalists at the weeknd in Abuja, also demanded the intervention of the National Assembly to get the US firm tosettle their benefits.

Accusing the oil company of rights violation, they alleged that it inflicted injustice on them by denying them their entitlements.

Registrar of the International Institute for Humanitarian and Environmental Law, Mr Cyprian Edward-Ekpo, in a speech read on behalf of the workers, said the relative peace in the Niger Delta would be threatened if the company failed to pay them their entitlements.

According to him, the action of the firm was a gross violation of human/labour rights of the people.

The workers alleged that a peaceful protest by them to press home their demand was thwarted by the management of the ExxonMobil who sponsored the police to harass, arrest and torture them.

The action of the international firm, according to them, undermines the federal government’s efforts that had led to the current relative peace in the Niger-Delta region.

“It is highly despicable and condemnable that a service contract worker who has worked for Exxon-Mobil for over thirty years was offered N150,000 as end of service benefit.

“May we quickly add that some members of this group were previously involved in militancy in the Niger Delta region, but as a result of the amnesty programme and transformation agenda of the federal government, they laid down arms and engaged in meaningful occupation.

“The consequences of Exxon-Mobil action by refusing to pay them their rightful entitlement shall certainly lead some of them to return to the creeks with its attendant negative consequences on the economy of the country,” they said.

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