The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers has frowned at the approach by international oil companies and their labour contractors to place workers on contract between three to 12 months and then keep rolling the contract over for many years.
Addressing journalists in Lagos on Friday, the National President of the union, Williams Akporeha, described the practice as illegal and unfair. He said, “There is a growing trend of indecent employment contract system of three months, six months and a maximum of 12 months being introduced and practised by the IOCs and their labour contractors in the oil and gas industry and it is a major concern to the leadership of NUPENG.
“The Central Working Committee seriously frowns on this imposition of indecent work condition by various IOCs and their local collaborators as it is illegal, unfair and inhuman to keep giving a worker three, six and 12 months employment contract and keep rolling it over for several years.”
Akporeha called on the statutory institutions and agencies saddled with the responsibility of protecting workers to address what he termed exploitation. He said, “Nigerian labour laws are being flagrantly flouted with impunity by the employers while our statutory agencies and institutions are fiddling; and sadly, the situation is getting worse by the day.
“NUPENG wonders what sort of maximisation of Nigeria’s participation in the oil and gas operations will arise from the present unhealthy contract circle in the industry which has the strength to further impoverish workers in the oil and gas industry.”
He called for immediate halt of the trend in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.
Concerning what he described as the anti-labour posture of oil and gas companies, the NUPENG president urged the government and other relevant authorities to call to order multinational and indigenous oil companies exhibiting the postures. He accused the companies of refusing to allow contract workers to belong to unions.
He said, “It is regrettable to note that the Nigeria Agip Oil Company and its service contractors have refused to review the service workers’ conditions of service since 2012, hiding under the guise of litigation which has nothing to do with the union.
“No one should take the patience of the union for weakness or abandonment of responsibility; we have waited this long so as not to give room for misrepresentation.
“We will not hesitate to take some decisive actions in the coming weeks if these situations are not immediately corrected.”
Speaking further, the NUPENG president accused some IOCs of awarding contracts to some recruiters who had no licence. Punch
Pix: Some oil majors