The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to begin an indefinite strike in Akwa Ibom State today to protest the alleged plans by the management of Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited to extinct members from its workforce.

The oil workers’ union claimed that contract staff in the employ of Mobil had been systematically separated and replaced with new contracts, an action that negates the collective bargaining agreement signed with the union.

The union, in a statement by its General Secretary, Isaac Aberare, warned management against plans to disengage 80 per cent of the contract workers and replace them with that of service providers by the end of September.

Describing the move as unfair, crude, barbaric and wicked, the union vowed to resist such attempt, stressing that it cannot sit and watch its members being sacked indiscriminately, as it would lead to a bad precedent in the oil and gas industry.

“We find this plan unacceptable, unjustifiable, unfair, crude, barbaric and wicked and will be resisted by the union, after our members have helped to contribute their quota over the years to the growth of the company. These employees use Mobil tools, equipment, machinery and vehicles to carry out their daily routine, yet they are denied the benefits as stipulated in the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

“It is sad to note that Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited has refused to give mandate to their labour contractors to have Joint Consultative Council (JCC) meeting which is held quarterly and wage re-opener which was due since June, 2013 and charter of demand submitted by March, 2013.

“NUPENG has written severally to the management of Mobil but all entreaties and call for social dialogue to resolve the issues were rebuffed and ignored by the oil company. The union cannot watch and see its members been sacked indiscriminately, as it will lead to a bad precedent in the oil and gas industry,” the statement added.


Information from This Day was used in this report.