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Illegal Industrial Action By Staff Union

By Nnadozie Okere
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The attention of the management of Total E & P Nigeria Limited, TEPNG, has been drawn to media utterances and anti-company campaigns by the company’s Branch of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN.

PENGASSAN has indicated that its ongoing, illegal industrial action is predicated upon the global implementation of the TOTAL Group projects in IST and Finance Divisions of the company. As earlier communicated to the Association, and hereby re-emphasised, management is disposed and willing to dialogue on the specific areas of concern as raised by the Association.

During a meeting held with PENGASSAN on March 27, 2018, it was clearly stated by TEPNG that the implementation of these Group projects would not entail job loss to any member of the Association.

On Tuesday, April 03, 2018, Management received a letter from PENGASSAN nominating its representatives to the agreed joint committees on the various projects. The committees were duly constituted and were to commence work this week only for PENGASSAN to withdraw her nominations and resorting to strike actions across the company’s locations despite reassurances that no TOTAL staff would lose his/her job.

It is worrisome that PENGASSAN has not only directed the stoppage of work in all office locations of the company, it has also deliberately blocked all channels of communication with management and as such no progress can be made.

Management notes with dismay the escalation of the situation by PENGASSAN with the disconnection of servers and power supply thereby disrupting operations. This action forced the company into a downgraded situation with the following consequences:

1. Communication facilities in Crisis Management rooms were disconnected exposing the company to grave risks in the event of emergency as normal means of communication with the sites were unavailable;

2. The layers of HSE safeguards to prevent accidents were reduced thereby increasing HSE risks in the environment;

3. Disconnection of power supply to offices and servers is a grave risk to personnel and sensitive data; and

4. Company’s normal operations were disrupted with potential loss of value to all stakeholders.

PENGASSAN further resorted to physically assaulting other personnel of the company who are not members of the Association by forcefully ejecting them out of their offices in violation of the company’s anti-harassment policy.

Management views the Association’s current actions as deliberate and aimed at frustrating and hurting the company. PENGASSAN has failed to put forward her views through normal channels of dialogue. It has also shown crass disdain for established grievance procedures.

If you rub up against money long enough, some of it may rub off on you.
By: A.C. Acquah