13 April 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Management of Total E & P Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has raised alarm over ongoing industrial actions by the company’s branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, describing the move as “illegal”.
In a statement signed by its management today, TEPNG said PENGASSAN has been engaging in anti-company campaigns which had adversely affected normal operations of the company.
“PENGASSAN has indicated that its ongoing, illegal industrial action is predicated upon the global implementation of the TOTAL Group projects in IST and Finance Divisions of the company”.
The company said it had earlier communicated to the association, that it was “disposed and willing to dialogue” on the specific areas of concern as raised by the association.
During a meeting held with PENGASSAN on March 27, 2018, TEPNG said it clearly stated that the implementation of those mentioned group projects, would not entail job loss to any member of the association.
In line with the agreement, the company said on Tuesday, April 03, 2018, it received a letter from PENGASSAN nominating its representatives to the agreed joint committees on the various projects.
“The committees were duly constituted and were to commence work this week only for PENGASSAN to withdraw her nominations and resort to strike actions across the company’s locations despite reassurances that no TOTAL staff would lose his/her job”, according to the statement.
“It is worrisome that PENGASSAN has not only directed the stoppage of work in all office locations of the company, it has also deliberately blocked all channels of communication with management and as such, no progress can be made”.
Management of the company said it noted “with dismay” the escalation of the situation by PENGASSAN with the disconnection of servers and power supply thereby, disrupting operations, forcing the company into a “downgraded” situation, the statement said.
Following the misunderstanding, TEPNG said PENGASSAN disconnected communication facilities in the crisis management rooms, exposing the company to grave risks in the event of emergency as normal means of communication with the sites were unavailable, layers of HSE safeguards to prevent accidents were reduced thereby increasing HSE risks in the environment, describing disconnection of power supply to offices and serves as a grave risk to personnel and sensitive data, adding that the company’s normal operations were disrupted with potential loss of value to all stakeholders.
“PENGASSAN further resorted to physically assaulting other personnel of the company who are not members of the Association by forcefully ejecting them out of their offices in violation of the company’s anti-harassment policy”.
“Management views the Association’s current actions as deliberate and aimed at frustrating and hurting the company”.
“PENGASSAN has failed to put forward her views through normal channels of dialogue. It has also shown crass disdain for established grievance procedures”, the statement said.