PENGASSAN threaten to shut down (NOV oil)

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The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened to shut down National Oilwell Varco (NOV Oil) if it sacks its members.

Also, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has slammed a $250,000 fine on NOV for its anti-labour practices.

According to PENGASSAN, the fine was imposed on the international oil company (IOC) for sacking 23 employees without following due process in March, last year.

The union alleged that NOV Oil had been flouting the directive by the DPR in 2014 and 2015 to put in place a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before embarking on redundancy.

The industry regulator had reiterated that it would sanction any oil and gas firm that failed to comply with its directive as well as provisions in Article 15a of the DPR regulations and 20 of Nigerian Labour law.

PENGASSAN, however, wants the oil and gas regulator to impose further punishment on NOVOil, if it continued to disobey labour laws.

Chairman of PENGASSAN, Lagos Zone, Eyam Abeng, noted that NOV Oil’s management had been laying off its workers without following due process and that the affected workers must be recalled.

He accused Cesar Velasco, the company’s vice-president and Well Site Services of misguiding the company in taking decisions on labour matters.

He said: “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 such as Angola, Congo, Ghana and Cameroon. How the company started with over 100 workers and later reduced them to four or five.

“This is what National Oilwell Varco wants to do in Nigeria. It wants to (take jobs) offshore that can be done by Nigerians and which we have competent Nigerians to other countries like South Africa.”

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Abeng said the company should put in place a CBA before going ahead with its redundancy plan, adding that “Nigerians should be adequately compensated, if the redundancy will impact on them.”

“PENGASSAN is ready to go all out to fight for the right of its members and ensure their job security,” he said.

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