ExxonMobil Plans Special Transition Program For Sacked Staff ..As Aggrieved Workers Shut Lagos Office

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Yemisi Izuora

American oil major, ExxonMobil is fighting to douse ongoing labour dispute that has led to shut down of its operational head office in Lagos.

The office has been shut down by its own workers, in protest to attempts by the company to sack some workers.

The office was shut after a dispute between the employees union Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Mobil management on initiating an arbitrary sack of Nigerian employees without conclusive negotiations.

Reacting to the crises in a statement by Oge Udeagha, ExxonMobil manager media and communication, the company is ready to pay all benefits to the affected workers.

Udeagha in the statement said, “ExxonMobil regularly evaluates its operations as part of a disciplined management process and continually strives to operate its business in a safe and efficient manner as possible”.

Udeagha said, “We invest for the long term and are focussed on maintaining a stable, well developed workforce and are committed to treating our employees with respect and in accordance with applicable rules and regulation”.

He said however, that “This is a limited program that will impact a relatively small fraction of employees. Special benefits.  Specificallyintroduced for this purpose will be paid to affected employees consistent with existing labour agreement.

The company is also arranging special programs to support the transition from the company for those affected”.

Udeagha said the company respects the rights of its workforce and will continue to engage them to resolve the situation.

Meanwhile, there are fears and concern that the protest at ExxonMobil, reputed to be one of the most valuable companies in the world, may also extend to the company’s oil facilities if the sack goes on arbitrarily.

A short statement circulated by PENGASSAN to its members, said the protest, which began on Wednesday, was to continue on Thursday (Today) with an “increase the tempo”.

“The plan is to withdraw our services totally from all our operating locations by midday today (15 Dec),” the statement read in part.

“The secretariat will keep you informed and updated as we arrive at that threshold. Injury to one is an injury to all!”

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