- Resumes suspended strike action.
- Require Immediate implementation of Local Content Act
Edet Edet – Eket
Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Akwa Ibom State Branch, has on Wednesday passed a vote of no confidence on the Managing Director of the multi-national oil giant, Mr. Paul McGrath, following his lack of compliance to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), initiating an arbitrary sack of Nigerian (union) employees without conclusive negotiations, and harassment and intimidation of union members on May 1st.
Speaking to journalist during a protest in the Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) facility of the company, the PENGASSAN branch Chairman, Mr. Paul Eboigbe, said that ExxonMobil has over the times, indulged in indiscriminate sack of its members, and replacing them with expatriates, giving no hoot to the established local content act.
Eboigbe stated that the protest was to officially commence the suspended strike action, to send a signal to the management that all agreement must be met else an indefinite action takes it toll.
“Our agitations began some years ago, after the indiscriminate sack of the union members; 150 in 2015 and 110 in 2016 without and agreed disengagement package, and were all replaced with foreigners. To be frank, they use 24 workers salary to pay one foreigner; this is absurd and very oppressing” – he added.
According to him, the resolution reached by the union is that the management should comply with the CBA, they should stop incessant sack of union workers.
Also speaking during the protest, the National Deputy President of PENGASSAN, Comr. Eze Jude, who also works with ExxonMobil, stated that the struggle for ExxonMobil’s implementation of the CBA since 2015 has always ended in fiasco, as the company has never conceded to doing the terms enshrined in the agreement.
He reiterated that, the protest is a proceed of the congress that resolves that;
1. ExxonMobil management should stop the incessant sack of workers.
2. That those who were unjustly sacked should be reviewed and recalled.
3. That the used of foreigners for jobs that should be done by Nigerians should stop, and those already working should be repatriated.
3. That the strike action will continue until all the envisaged agitation are achieved.
It could be recalled that sometime last year, PENGASSAN shut down the activities of ExxonMobil, rolling up Production activities and causing a drop in oil production, citing the refusal of ExxonMobil’s management to adhere to the Local Content act as reasons.
It is unclear at the time of filing this report, whether the management of the company are ready to meet the conditions of the union to dispel aggression in other to quell the strike action, as every attempt to reach the Media/Communications Manager, Mr. Ogechukwu Udeagha, proved abortive as he neither picked his calls or reply text messages.