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Exxonmobil, Pengassan, Differ Over Planned Sack Of Nigerian Staff


BEVERLY HILLS, December 19, (THEWILL) – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and ExxonMobil, one of the biggest companies in the oil sector, have expressed dissenting views over plans by the latter to sack over 100 Nigerian workers in its employ.

According to PENGASSAN, ExxonMobil is ignoring Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, by implementing the sack insisting that Kachikwu personally wrote the company to halt the process.

“Despite the intervention of the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum, who personally appealed to Management to write a letter to the Union reversing the termination of employments, Management continued implementing the programme,” PENGASSAN said.

“Our position is not premised on the quantum of benefits but on fairness, equity and dignity of labour.

“The supposed planned severance payment (N350m) to a national after 27 YOS is about 11 months' pay (salary) of an expatriate ($65,000/month) working in the same affiliate under the present leadership.

“However, the figures brandished by Management are fictitious and totally untrue as none of our members will get anything near N140m let alone N350m.”

However, the company, insists that the union was the one disregarding the law and the Minister's stance on the negotiations by resorting to strike action and halting production.

“Clause 13b states that 'If a dispute arises during the subsistence of the Agreement, either party shall comply with the current law governing Trade Disputes in Nigeria and neither party shall resort to arbitrary strike action or lockout,” ExxonMobil said in a statement.

“With total disregard for the laid down rules, even with the intervention of the Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum, who personally appealed to both the Union Chairman and Secretary, extending invitations for a meeting on December 20, the Union resorted to shutting in production at the Company's production facilities.  This is uncalled for.

“The process is not an outright sack, but one that involves severance payments of up to N350 million per head for the staff who have worked for more than 27 years.

“For the total population affected, average payment is about N140.2 million.”

Story by Oputah David