By NBF News
Listen to article

A call has gone to the National Assembly and the Minister of Petroleum Resources to re-jig the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) now before the lawmakers and ensure that they protect the interests of workers and host communities. Besides, the two legislative arms of the Assembly should probe the 'anti-labour practices' in Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and call the oil company's management to order.

The Producers Forum of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) made the call at the end of its meeting held in Port Harcourt at the weekend. In a communiqué jointly signed by Messrs Amoshuka Daniel and Cajetan Akpan, national chairman and national secretary respectively, the forum urged the federal lawmakers to ensure that the pending bill improves the welfare of employees of the oil and gas sectors when passed.

To free the bill from controversy, the group urged the National Assembly to update Nigerians on progress made so and make copies available to the people for inputs before it is passed into law.

The forum warned that, 'no category of worker' should lose his job with the passage of the bill, stressing that all community-based associations should also be carried along in the expected new Petroleum law.

It specifically charged the petroleum minister to ensure that the bill takes adequate care of the wellbeing of workers and the host-communities, 'to enable oil and gas workers have a peaceful working environment.'

NUPENG kicked against 'casualisation' and other alleged anti-labour practices in Shell Petroleum and urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to call the oil giant to order. It threatened to shut down operations, 'if SPDC does not respect the recent agreement reached on July 23 among SPDC, NUPENG, NNPC and labour on the aspect of recent oil block sale.'

The forum also appealed to Chevron and Texaco to recall three of its members sacked recently.