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Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG issues 7-day ultimatum

The Nigeria Oil and Natural Gas Workers’ Union, NUPENG, issued a seven-day strike notice to the Federal Government on Wednesday.

NUPENG wants President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to force Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, to honor the agreement reached with the union on June 20.

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He said that, in case of default, the union would direct its members to start a strike. NUPENG claimed in a statement signed by its President and Secretary-General, Prince Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawale, respectively.

The union said: “NUPENG, with deep frustration and concern, would like to alert the general public and all relevant authorities about the flagrant violation of the agreement reached between Chevron Nigeria Limited Company and industry unions.

“It is public knowledge that the oil and gas industry unions had a prolonged negotiation with Chevron Nigeria Limited on the 70 percent reduction in labor that (Chevron) claimed was necessary for a view of the decline of its operations in the oil and gas industry.

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“After a negotiation of up to one year, negotiated by the National Petroleum Corporation of Nigeria, NNPC; National Petroleum Investment Management Services, NAPIMS and the Ministry of Labor, it was agreed that taking into account the intervention of all the aforementioned institutions and the various justifications made, only 30 percent of workers by labor contract will be relieved.

“Of the 1,856 workers hired in the company, NUPENG has 1,120; PENGASSAN, 213; and non-unionized, 523. It was agreed that the 30% reduction would be distributed in the same percentage among the three groups.

“It was also agreed that union executives (NUPENG and PENGASSAN) will not be affected by the reduction, that Chevron Nigeria Limited will not change the labor force in any way for service contracts.

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“It was also agreed that any person who voluntarily offers to go would be counted as part of the agreed 30%. Unfortunately, immediately after the agreement was reached, Chevron began executing the exercise in flagrant violation of the agreed terms, apparently to put NUPENG in poor condition as problematic or for termination because only NUPENG members have left work, leaving behind the non-unionized workers and members of PENGASSAN.

“It’s even more embarrassing to see that NUPENG executives are also part of those that are already blocked.” According to our registry, more than 500 NUPENG members are being fired.

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We also learned that Chevron intends to change the contract to a short-term service contract, and we see this as unfair and a breach of the agreement reached with us in bad faith.

“All NUPENG executives must return to work, and the agreed reduction percentage should be extended to the three groups as decided to avoid creating the impression that NUPENG was the objective of the exercise.

“The excellent disposition of the new NUPENG leadership should not be taken for granted. Chevron should not be allowed to use this exercise to change the contract of labor to covert service contract.

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“Consistent with the previous demands and having been pushed to the wall, NUPENG, hereby, puts all our members on red alert if Chevron Nigeria Limited and its contractors do not meet our demands in the next seven days, we also do not hesitate to take all the necessary legal options available to us, including industrial actions, to press our legitimate demands. ”