PENGASSAN Threatens Nationwide Strike If NOVA Oil Sacks Its Members

PENGASSAN threatens nationwide strike over arrested oil workers

Yemisi Izuora

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), has threatened to shut down the nation’s oil and gas industry should NOV Oil management sack any of its members.

The Association alleged that NOV Oil management has the characteristic of sacking its workers without due process.

The threat is coming following the fine of $250,000 to the National Oilwell Varco (NOV) recently by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) over anti-labour practices by the company.

The Union also implored DPR to impose further sanctions on NOV Oil should it continue to disobey Nigeria Labour laws and regulations.

The PENGASSAN Lagos Zonal Chairman, Comrade Eyam Abeng, stated this while responding to issues of anti-labour practices by NOV Oil.

The fine was imposed on the International Oil Company (IOC) for sacking 23 Nigerian employees without recourse to due process in March 2020.

The NOV Oil had been flouting the directive by the DPR in 2014 and 2015 to put in place a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before embarking on redundancy.

The DPR, has reiterated its position to frown and sanction any oil and gas company that refuses to comply with its directive as well as provisions in Article 15a of DPR regulations and 20 of Nigerian Labour law.

The PENGASSAN in a statement by its spokesperson, Babatunde Oke, demanded the reinstatement of the 23 workers sacked without procedures.

He alleged that one Mr Cesar Velasco, Vice President, Well Site Services, usually misguided the company in taking decisions regarding labour matters.

He said: “They are in the habit of not respecting the laws of the land as regards labour practices.

“We are aware of what the company did in other countries, such as Angola, Congo, Ghana and Cameroon, among others. How the company started with over 100 workers and later reduced them to 4 or 5.”

“This is what National Oilwell Varco (NOV ) wants to do in Nigeria. It wants to offshore jobs that can be done by Nigerians and which we have competent Nigerians to other countries like South Africa,” he added.

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