By Omotilewa Quadri
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has issued a 21-day ultimatum to employers in the oil and gas industry to address the poor welfare of workers.
Williams Akporeha, NUPENG president, issued the ultimatum at a news conference in Lagos on Sunday while lamenting the alleged suffering workers are subjected to by their employers.
Akporeha said over 500 union members had not been paid after working for some international oil companies. Aside from the non-payment of salaries, he said the companies had continuously ill-treated the workers who were casuals.
While accusing the employers of anti-labour activities, he added that the oil and gas companies frowned against unionism and would not give room for collective bargaining negotiation. He also accused the companies of not paying end of contract benefits.
Akporeha said, “This is alien to our extant industrial rules. Some of the workers have died, while others are roaming the streets because they could not get their money.
“A prominent oil company, which is among the debtors, claimed that it cannot locate the contractor who hired the workers to do the job. This is sad.
“We have risked our lives to contribute to the development of the economy, especially in the downstream value chain. The union is against multinational companies enslaving the workers and causing them to live in precarious conditions.”
The ultimatum is expected to start on Monday.
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