The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, on Sunday, said it brokered a peace deal to settle the lingering rift between the management of TotalEnergies and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association/Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers.
It stated that following the peace deal, the unions agreed to suspend the ongoing industrial action against TotalEnergies, adding that this led to an immediate restoration of 275,000 barrels of crude oil per day. TotalEnergies is the operator of the NNPC/Total Joint Venture.
The organised labour had accused Fedoz Nigeria Limited, an oil servicing firm, of sacking three members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, an affiliate of TUC, without due process; while also accusing TotalEnergies of refusing to increase workers’ salaries to meet up with the prevailing economic situation in the country.
The Chief Corporate Communications Officer, NNPCL, Olufemi Soneye, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja, adding that in a communique issued at the end of a marathon negotiation session chaired by Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, Executive Vice President, Upstream, NNPCL, all parties committed to resolving all the issues within an agreed framework.
“The communique was signed by TotalEnergies MD/CEO, Matthieu Bouyer; PENGASSAN President, Festus Osifo; and NUPENG President, Williams Akporeha.
“It was witnessed by NNPC Ltd, EVP Upstream, Mrs Oritsemeyiwa Eyesan, and Mr. Bala Wunti, Chief Upstream Investment Officer, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services. Also in attendance was Mr Victor Bandele, Deputy Managing Director, TotalEnergies,” NNPCL stated.
TotalEnergies EP Nigeria had confirmed on Thursday that the company’s in-house branch of PENGASSAN had embarked on an industrial action related to the annual collective bargaining process.
“The company fully understands the importance of our industry to the socio-economic development of Nigeria and collaborates with all stakeholders to improve the condition of its employees and stakeholders.
“Accordingly, and in the context of the current economic challenges, we have been engaging with unions since July in a collective negotiating process leading to salaries increase proposals above the inflation.
“We remain committed to exploring all legitimate means to arrive at a sustainable resolution of the ongoing situation,” the Country Communications Manager, TotalEnergies, Charles Ebereonwu, had stated in a statement.
He stated that TotalEnergies’ culture was to treat employees as our most important stakeholder.
“We remain open to dialogue with the union with the expectation of peaceful resolution for the overall good of the company and country,” the oil firm had stated.
Speaking, TUC Chairman in Rivers State, Comrade Ikechukwu Onyefuru, urged TotalEnergies to recognise the economic challenges facing Nigerian workers, as inflation rate at 26.72 per cent has rendered their wages invalid, adding that price of food items and PMS in the country have skyrocketed, thus affecting their purchasing power.
Onyefuru who cited Convention 87 of the International Labour Organization, said ILO recognises that whenever there is wage invalidity, the employer and employees must negotiate through dialogue on how the invalidity will be upturned for workers to have valid wages.