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Chevron bows to NUPENG’s pressure, recalls sacked workers


 Indications emerged on Monday that Chevron Nigeria Limited had recalled sacked members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers. The National Secretary of the union, Afolabi Olawale, disclosed this in a telephone interview with our correspondent.

He explained that the union’s meeting with the management of the CVL was the outcome of a truce organised by the Group managing director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Mallam Mele Kyari.

He said, “A lot of progress has been made. First, we suspended the planned industrial action, based on the intervention of the GMD, NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari. Meetings have been held with the management of the Chevron Nigeria. They sent a representative.

“I am happy to tell you that we have signed a new agreement which still consists of our earlier demands. It was due to the breach of the old agreement that warranted the signing of a new agreement.

“Our union members that were sacked have been asked to return to work. We thank the GMD, NNPC, for his intervention. He was quite instrumental to the success recorded in ending the NUPENG-CNL face-off.”

NUPENG had issued a statement on Friday announcing the suspension of its planned strike billed to begin today (Tuesday).

The union had earlier expressed its frustration on the breach of the earlier agreement it signed with the oil company.

The union in a statement released on July 31 said, “NUPENG, with deep frustration and worries, would like to alert the general public and all relevant authorities to the blatant violation of agreement reached between Chevron Nigeria Limited Company and unions in the industry.

“It is public knowledge that unions in the oil and gas industry had a protracted negotiation with Chevron Nigeria Limited over 70 per cent labour manpower reduction which it (Chevron) claimed was required in view of reduction in their operations in the oil and gas industry.

“After up to one year negotiation brokered by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the National Petroleum Investment Management Services and the Ministry of Labour, it was agreed that considering the intervention of all the institutions mentioned above and the various justifications made, only 30 per cent of the Labour Manpower Contract Workers will be relieved.”

“Of the 1,856 contract workers in the company, NUPENG has 1,120; Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, 213; and non-unionised, 523.  It was agreed that the 30 per cent reduction shall be spread in equal 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 in any guise change the labour manpower to service contracts.

“It was also agreed that anyone that voluntarily offers to go will be counted as part of the agreed 30 per cent.”

However, NUPENG added that immediately after the agreement was reached, Chevron started executing the exercise in violation of the agreed terms.

It added that this was either to provoke it and put it in a bad light because only NUPENG members were being sent packing, while non-unionised members of staff and those of PENGASSAN were spared.

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