The Management of Intels Nigeria Limited has expressed concern over the ongoing industrial action by members of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), which has impacted its services at the Onne Port, Rivers State.
MWUN began an indefinite strike from Monday, December 14, 2020 over the redundancy of some 500 workers at the Onne Port.
But in a statement it issued on Monday, Intels said the affected workers are not its employees, but staff of one of its labour contractors named Associated Maritime Services Limited (AMS).
The statement reads: “The Management of Intels Nigeria Limited (Intels) notes with concern the ongoing industrial action by members of the Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC) and Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) which has impacted our services and wish to state the position of our Company as follows:
“Due to low operational activities arising from the general low activities in the oil & gas industry attributable mainly to fall in crude oil price which affected most of our clients, coupled with COVID-19 pandemic, Management of Intels was constrained to embark on a redundancy exercise recently.
“The redundancy exercise affected both our direct employees and some of our labour contractors, such as Associated Maritime Services Limited (AMS), whose contract with Intels had to be partially terminated, and committed to pay entitlements due to AMS under the labour contract.
“In accordance with extant laws, and the Conditions of Service applicable to employees of Intels, we engaged both SSASCGOC and MWUN in a negotiation over the modalities for the redundancy exercise as it affects Intels employees.
“Following agreement reached with both SSASCGOC and MWUN, the redundancy exercise was successfully implemented in respect of employees of Intels affected by the exercise.
“AMS also embarked on a redundancy exercise and engaged in negotiation with SSASCGOC and MWUN with respect to its employees affected by the redundancy exercise and committed to pay all entitlements due to its staff affected by the redundancy in accordance with the provisions of the Conditions of Service of AMS.
“The ongoing strike action is as a result of an alleged disagreement between AMS, SSASCGOC and MWUN over the issue of an entitlement referred to as extra gratuity claimed by SSASCGOC and MWUN outside the applicable Conditions of Service of AMS, which is a matter to be addressed entirely among the three parties.
“As can be seen from the above, neither SSASCGOC nor MWUN has any dispute with Intels, and it is therefore surprising to us that SSASCGOC and MWUN would extend their alleged grievance (if any) to our organization, an action which is totally misconceived, as AMS is a separate legal entity from Intels and is not a subsidiary of Intels.
“All allegations reported by MWUN and media of engaging the services of armed security agents who chased away and wounded people are false and without any basis. The Law Enforcement Units deployed at our Company premises have acted and will always act with due regard to the Voluntary Principles of Security on Human Rights.
“We assure the general public and particularly all our clients, that we are taking all necessary legal steps to address this unwarranted and illegal disruption of some of our activities in order to bring the situation under control and minimize any adverse impact on our clients.”