21 September 2013, Lagos – Oil and gas workers in Akwa Ibom have given notice to begin an indefinite strike on Monday over plans by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to sack them.
The workers, under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, gave the notice in a statement issued on Saturday in Lagos.
The statement was signed by NUPENG General Secretary, Mr Isaac Aberare.“We warn against the alleged plan to disengage 80 per cent of the labour contract workers and replace them with service employees by the end of September.
“We find this plan unacceptable and unfair after our members have helped to contribute their quota to the growth of the company. We will resist it,” the statement said.
The workers, in the statement, said that some contract staff in Mobil had been sacked and replaced with new ones on new contracts terms that negate the collective bargaining agreement signed with NUPENG.
“The union cannot watch and see its members being sacked indiscriminately. It will lead to bad precedence in the oil and gas industry,” it said.
The statement said that the new employees use tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles that belong to Mobil to perform their jobs but they were denied the benefits stipulated in the agreement.
It said that Mobil had also refused to give mandate to labour contractors to hold the quarterly Joint Consultative Council (JCC) meeting.The statement said that NUPENG had written several letters to Mobil management on the issues but all entreaties for dialogue were ignored by the oil company.