02 December 2014, Warri -The Escravos branch of the Seamen and Water Transport Workers Union, one of the wings of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, has given a 21 day ultimatum to Chevron to fix an employment impasse involving it and the company or face a forceful shut down of its operations in the area.
The union had through an earlier letter, said that the ultimatum was caused by what it described as “Chevron’s breach of the law through its resort to deal with a community group known as ‘Itsekiri Coastal Dwellers Association,’ as a modality to employ maritime workers,” which the union said, runs contrary to what the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria stipulates.
The position of Escravos Maritime Workers Union on employment of maritime staff/seafarers in which the Joint Task Force, JTF Commandant, Warri, the Commanding Officer, JTF Escravos, the Department of State Security, Police Area Commander Warri, the Nigeria Navy and the Director of NIMASA, were copied, insisted that it was the exclusive preserve of its mother union, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, to recommend its members for employment in Chevron or any other oil company operating vessels in the country.
The union, said “By passing our union’s stipulation is a slap on our face and the Federal Government of Nigeria, which established the enabling Act which gives the union its legal teeth. We are therefore, calling on Chevron Nigeria Ltd to retrace its step of compelling the union to work under the group. The group must be made to work under the union as a condition, henceforth, for peace to reign in the area.
“We are giving Chevron a 21 day ultimatum to rectify the anomaly or we shall be forced to stop and shut down the operations of Chevron’s Escravos Terminal, just as we have been given the right to do so under the relevant law,” the letter added.