Sunday, July 25, 2021

PENGASSAN threatens oil industry shutdown over NOV Oil’s sacked workers

PENGASSAN has threatened to shut down Nigeria’s oil and gas industry if National Oilwell Varco (NOV Oil) fails to reinstate sacked 23 workers.

• June 12, 2021

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to shut down Nigeria’s oil and gas industry if National Oilwell Varco (NOV Oil) fails to reinstate sacked 23 workers.

Eyam Abeng, PENGASSAN Lagos zonal chairman, stated this while fielding questions from journalists on Saturday regarding NOV Oil’s anti-labour practices.

Mr Abeng affirmed that PENGASSAN was ready to go all out to “fight for the right of its members and ensure their job security.”

He threatened that PENGASSAN “has equally threatened to shut down the nation’s oil and gas industry,” should NOV Oil’s management “again sack any of its members.’’ 

NOV Oil is an international oil and gas services company with headquarters in Texas, U.S., and operates in over 20 countries.

Mr Abeng urged the company to have a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before going ahead with its redundancy plan.

According to him, the firm should adequately compensate Nigerians if the redundancy will impact them.

Mr Abeng further stated, “They are in the habit of not respecting the laws of the land as regards labour practices.

“We are aware of what the company did in other countries like Angola, Congo, Ghana, and Cameroon; how the company started with over 100 workers and later reduced them to five.”

Condemning the oil firm’s plans, he stated, “This is what National Oil wants to do in Nigeria.’’ 

He added that the union had called on the nation’s oil and gas regulator to impose further sanctions on NOV Oil, should it continue to disobey Nigeria’s labour laws and regulations.

In March 2020, the Department of Petroleum Resources imposed a $250,000 fine on the company over anti-labour practices for sacking 23 Nigerian employees without recourse to due process and flouting DPR’s directive in 2014 and 2015 regarding having a CBA before embarking on redundancy. 


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