08 December 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has issued a 7 days’ ultimatum to the Federal Government over unfair labour practices in the oil and gas industry.
The seven days ultimatum will culminate in the shutting down all oil and gas installations, including disruptions to fuel supply and distribution, across the country effective Monday, December 18, 2017.
PENGASSAN General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa said the ultimatum is as a result of the unfair labour practices and seemly untamable posture of some indigenous oil and gas companies and marginal field operators by relevant agencies of government.
“The Association recalls her communique issued at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of October 13, 2017, held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
“One of the resolutions thereof was the condemnation of Indigenous Oil and Gas Companies and Marginal Field Operators, concerning their anti-labour posture and practices including the termination of the employment of any workers who have indicated a willingness to belong to the union. Those who are threatened and compelled to disown the union are then treated as slave workers within their own country,” he said in a statement.
The case of Neconde Energy Ltd (of Nestoil Group of companies) PENGASSAN said is particularly worrisome as the issue of dignity in labour and infringement on workers’ rights to freedom of Association is foreign to them leading to mass sack of workers that joined the Union and dehumanisation of same in total disregard to rule of engagement and the laws of the land noting that the actions of companies such as Neconde in mass sack of Nigerian workers contribute in no small measure to the unending militancy in the Niger Delta.
“This company has not only conducted itself as being above the provisions of extant laws and regulations guiding the operations of oil and gas companies in Nigeria, but has also severally boasted that no government agency can call it to order.
“It was, therefore, no surprise that Neconde has defied multiple interventions from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the top Management of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) for the company to toe the path of law and order and comply with Nigerian labour laws.
“The company is apparently bolstered by the fact that it has continued, without any sanctions from government regulatory authorities, to flagrantly breach the provisions of the Personal Income Tax Amendment Act (PITA) and Pension Reform Act (PRA) by not remitting deducted income taxes and pension contributions to the Lagos and Delta states’ boards of internal revenue and authorized Pension Fund Administrators (PFAs) respectively.
“The owners and management of Neconde have therefore made themselves to believe that they are above the laws and government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Having explored all options without getting the necessary understanding, and an apparent failure of relevant authorities of Government to call to order these recalcitrant organisations especially Neconde, PENGASSAN gives the Federal Government and its relevant Agencies seven (7) days’ notice to embark on nationwide strike effective December 18, 2017, if she fails to direct the Management of Neconde and other companies to recall our sacked members as the only option to address this injustice and lawlessness,” the statement reads.
PENGASSAN, therefore, appeals to all Nigerians to show understanding and to use this window to stockpile adequate quantity of premium motor spirit (PMS) and other petroleum products that will last them during the upcoming festive period as this strike will be indefinite.