Lagos — The Chevron Branch of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has raised an alarm over a purported plan to sack six hundred workers and relocate their jobs to America
While addressing journalists in a staged protest at Chevron office in Lagos, the Branch Chairman, Comrade Ete Oyegbanren disclosed that over 2,000 Nigerian workers have been locked out from the office by Chevron Nigeria Limited under the guise of Covid-19 restrictions.
He reiterated that all the 2,000 workers were “constructively dismissed” and then asked to reapply for fresh jobs while 600 of them are already penciled down to be sacked at the end of the fresh recruitment based on a pseudo reorganization of the company.
Oyegbanren disclosed that Chevron Management experimented with Work From Home (WFH) since the outbreak of Covid 19 in March 2020 and discovered that since Nigerians can work from their homes during the lockdown period using internet connection, the same work being done by Nigerians here can be done remotely by Americans from the US hence the move to sack 600 Nigerians and replace them with Americans who would be working remotely from the US, which he described worsening the unemployment situation in Nigeria and using same to address those of America.
He revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government has made the creation of 1 million jobs per year a cornerstone of his administration and the government also went further by approving the recruitment of over 1,000 employees to the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
‘We are also aware that the FG advised companies not to sack Nigerian workers under the guise of Covid 19. We have credible information that Chevron Management is boasting that the President of Nigeria cannot dictate to them how to run the company, despite the fact that NNPC owns 60% of the Joint Venture’ he stated.
He said the 600 workers that are being sacked are primarily lower cadre employees whose salaries are negligible when compared with the humongous emoluments paid to their American expatriates’ counterparts.
He revealed that the government pays 60% of the massive salaries and allowances of these expatriates and Chevron Management plans to engage more expatriates in America who will replace the 600 Nigerians currently being sacked in the current scheme.
Oyegbanren said to worsen the matters, none of the top Management of the company including the Chairman and Managing Director who earn the chunk of what constitute high apex is affected by the sack, instead it is the same top Management that chooses to sack 600 lower level workers whose only crime is working hard to sustain Nigeria’s oil and gas production even in the midst of Covid 19 pandemic.
He disclosed that the National PENGASSAN appealed to Chevron Management to suspend the process and allow both parties to reach agreement on an amicable voluntary separation exercise such that workers may opt to exit but this conciliatory offer was rebuffed, instead, all 2,000 workers on October 1 received notification that their services were no longer required by Chevron and those interested can apply afresh for new jobs wherein 600 of them would be subsequently declared redundant and their appointment terminated.
He condemned the plan of Chevron Management which he described as part of a grand scheme by multinational oil companies operating in Nigeria to gradually relocate work being done in Nigeria to their home country.
He stressed that in this instance, there will be offshoring of 600 Nigerian jobs to America thereby worsening the unemployment situation in Nigeria and as patriotic Nigerians they would resist this with all tools available to them.
They call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to call the Management of Chevron to order and direct them to comply with Nigeria laws and regulations in the Oil and Gas industry and also appeal to the GMD of NNPC and the Director of DPR to ensure that Nigeria’s national interest is protected in this unfolding situation.
‘We have therefore decided not to allow this imperialist agenda in our country and we will not support such manipulative reorganization which is not based on the due process of labour law regulating activities of companies in our fatherland’ he said.