NUPENG Threatens Strike Over Chevron's Failure To Pay Sacked Workers' Entitlements
BEVERLY HILLS, July 30, (THEWILL) – The alleged failure by Chevron Nigeria Limited to pay severance entitlements and pension to its displaced contract staff may spark off an industrial action as the Warri Zone of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) on Wednesday warned of an impending major workers strike in the zone.
Warri zonal chapter of NUPENG covers Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Kogi as well as Ondo States.
The sacked workers had on Wednesday took to the streets of Warri to protest their unpaid entitlements which they alleged Chevron had blatantly refused to show concern about.
NUPENG’s zonal chairman, Comrade Cogent Ojobor, who spoke to newsmen at the Chevron’s yard in Ekpan, Uvwie council area, Delta State, accused Chevron of reneging on its promise to pay the workers since they were dismissed.
“At various fora, Chevron has admitted owing the workers, but from two weeks to more than 12 months running, commitment to pay the entitlements has repeatedly not been honoured. For now it is peaceful protest but it may turn to an industrial action if lack of reasoning by Chevrom pushes it to that limit.
“When it gets to that, we will shut fuel supply, we will cut down supply of gas to power generating plants and BEDC may go down again and the economy will be affected and people will start saying NUPENG is at it again” he added.
Explaining the workers plight, another protester, who gave his name as Patrick Gbetah said, “Under the collective engagement bargaining with Chevron and its contractors under which we work, we are entitled to end of contract bonus, redundancy and pension benefits in case of disengagement.
“For over 12 months, most of us have been disengaged in the name of transition without these benefits being paid. Those made not to go back to work are also asking to access our pension fund over which several sums have been deducted from our salaries while we were engaged.
“At Premiun Pensions, the firm overseeing our pension, we were told that without termination or redundancy letters we cannot access our pension account. We sought the termination and redundancy letters from Chevron, they say it is the contractor who should give us. We ask the contractors, they say it is Chevron.”
Gbetah said the protest against Chevron was therefore to let the public know their plight and for relevant stakeholders including the Federal and the Delta state government to intervene and resolve the lingering issues which they say are adversely affecting their respective families.
Efforts to reach Chevron management and media interfaces proved abortive when filing this report as calls and text enquiries made to them were not responded to.