The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has warned that labour will not accept loss of job of their members under any guise.
PENGASSAN president, Comrade Francis Johnson, while briefing journalists during the International Labour Conference (ILC) holding in Geneva, Switzerland warned of a looming crisis in the oil and gas sector, following plans by Chevron to sack 500 workers
Johnson however said measures are already being taken to avert such crisis, but warned that labour will not fold its arms and watch Nigerians lose their jobs.
He said, “For example, we have a case at hand now where Chevron through HM15, they are trying to lay off about 500 of our members. And there will be issues. Prayers session has already been started. We are also sensitising you now that there is crisis looming. so, we must put our heads together, let’s see how we can avert this.”
On plans by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) aimed at reducing the long contracting cycle in the nation oil and gas sector to six months, the PENGASSAN president warned that labour will resist such move
He said the union and it’s counterpart, NUPENG had already rejected such move but will be holding further meetings upon their return to Nigeria to tackle the issue, which he warns may lead to another crisis in the sector.
He said, “If you are going to formulate policies, we are stakeholders. There is need for us to sit down and discuss so that instead of us being reactive, we will be proactive to see how we can also avert the crisis. Because we know the volatibilty of the oil and gas sector.
“If we decide that we are shutting down, we know the repercussions, the effect. there will be queues, there will crisis and uncertainties. But we also don’t want that to happen. So we saw the publication that NCDMB, OPTS, minister of state for petroleum that they have taken a decision about contract staffing and we issued a statement that it is not going to be acceptable.
“By God’s grace when we go back, NUPENG and PENGASSAN, we are going to have a meeting. If you are going to take any action that you know is going to affect our members, what’s wrong in calling us together, let’s look at it together. And its unfortunate that most of these things are being done by the Nigerian counterpart. The essence of local content act was to allow Nigerians to take over the industry
“But for that one, we have issued a counter statement and if they want to try PENGASSAN and NUPENG, I wish them all the best. But we will not accept it. We will not fold our hands to issues that will be of benefit to all Nigerians. For us, that issue of contract circle and SLA (Service Level Agreement) is dead on arrival.
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