Again, Furious Workers Shut Down Chevron's Escravos Plant
SAN FRANCISCO, February 10, (THEWILL) - Furious workers protesting unpaid salaries, allowances and pay-offs, have once again shut down Chevron's multi-billion dollar Escravos Gas-To-Liquid Project in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
This is the second time the angry workers would be doing this after the first shut down in 2012 when they protested the company's failure to honour its obligations in the areas of contract pay-offs and other allowances.
The workers had accused Chevron contracting firms working on the project of flouting industrial laws, decrying irregularities in their salaries, pay-offs and other allowances.
The contracting firms being accused by the workers include Dozik, Pimoff, BGI, Gibies, Tomba, Sukuru, Unique, Sunshine Enterprises, Bilozis, Everest and Jad, among others.
Bringing all activities on the project to a halt, the workers , mainly the EGTL construction workforce integrated into the Project Maintenance Team, (PMT), alleged that the contracting firms have failed to pay them three months salaries and also refused to negotiate payoff as the (PMT) transforms into a Project Operation Team, (POT) next month.
The Project Operation Team is supposedly the last phase of work in the multi-billion dollar Escavos project.
"Our duties to the EGTL closes this March and majority of us would not make it into the POT which takes charge thereafter.
"It is unacceptable at this injury time that the various contractors we work under owe three months arrears and none is giving consideration to finalise our payoff .
"We therefore came out to a no work protest here today (Monday) to draw attention of Chevron, particularly the EGTL management and the contractors, to these lingering issues and we will continue with the protest till someone listens to our concern,' one of the protesters who craved anonymity said.
However, the Chief Executive Officer of one of the contracting firm, TOMBA Resources, Chief Thomas Ereyitomi, while reacting to the allegations, denied his company involvement in any anti-labour practice as well as default in payment of salaries and allowance to workers.
"To speak for my company, there are no such lingering issues.
We do not owe anyone.
As a contractors, we are guided by directives and approvals from the company management.
We cannot apportion benefits when decisions have not been reached .
"As soon as agreements are reached, everyone gets his entitlement.
We have not heard issues we could not settle before now.
It is just a matter of time, the issues will be resolved,"he said.
Efforts to get the reaction of Chevron or EGTL management however proved abortive.
EGTL is a gas-to-liquids project based in Escravos, located in Warri South West, about 885 kilometers or 550 miles to Warri.
The plant converts natural gas into liquid petroleum products.
It is being executed by Chevron Nigeria Limited, with a 75 percent stake; the Nigerian National Petroleum Company, NNPC , with 15 percent stake and Sasol of South Africa, holding a 10 percent stake.