The export of crude oil from Nigeria has come under threat as workers at U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp have gone on strike in protest over the sacking of workers.
The Chairman of Lagos Zone of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Mr. Abel Agarin, disclosed this while leading a picketing of ExxonMobil on Thursday in Lagos.
He said the union have begun gradual withdrawal of its members from oil and gas installations belonging to ExxonMobil in the country.
He explained that members of his union were on strike in protest at the sacking of 150 workers in December. He said 82 were PENGASSAN members.
He said strikes were being held in Lagos, Bonny, Akwa Ibom and Port Harcourt.
Members of PENGASSAN on Wednesday began a three-day warning strike to protest the refusal of ExxonMobil management to honour an industrial relations agreement.
The agreement was reached during a tripartite meeting with the senior staff union and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity in December 2016.
According to him, “PENGASSAN members have begun gradual withdrawal from oil and gas installations belonging to Mobil in Nigeria.
“Members in the loading bay at Best Operations Platform (BOP), where crude oil is being loaded have been withdrawn, while those in Erha and Ushan FPSO will join by midnight today (yesterday). Those in the Bonny River Terminal will also join by midnight.
“The withdrawal of our members in Qua Iboe Terminal with about 14 locations will be the final shut down which will end by Fri day midnight,’’ Agarin said.
The zonal chairman said that other International Oil Companies (IOCs) such as Chevron, Shell, Addax, Total and Agip and indigenous oil companies would join by Friday.
He said that the union was mobilising its members in Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS).
According to him, the agreement brokered by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige and the management of ExxonMobil agreed to review the sack of 83 employees in December 2016.
Agarin added that the management agreed that none of the workers that participated in a protest in December would be sanctioned.
“Without honouring the agreement, the management suspended other union leaders in the company that took part in the December protest.
“The company has no respect for constituted authority of the land, as represented by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
“The management disobeyed the law and authority of Nigeria which is not acceptable to us,” Agarin said.
When contacted, Mr Oge Udeagha, ExxonMobil Media Manager denied the allegation that they failed to honour the agreement reached with Minister of Labour.
Udeagha said that the management was in compliance with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Act and other laws that govern utilisation of expatriate employees.
“Our workforce is 95 per cent Nigerian and we remain committed to the safety of our personnel and security of our facilities,” he said.
The ExxonMobil spokesperson added that the company policy concerning employee conduct specifically prohibited the use of threats or violence in the workplace.
Mobil is currently one of the largest oil producing company in Nigeria with about 660,000 barrel per day (bpd). (NAN/ Reuters)topics from