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Nigeria: Nupeng Threatens to Ground Shell’s Operations


Sylvester Enoghase And Adeola Yusuf

About 250,000 barrels per day capacity of oil may be shut-in as the National Union of Petroleum and Natproduced by Shell in Nigeria ural Gas workers (NUPENG) vowed to ground activities of the oil multinational.

Declaring that it had concluded arrangement to picket the headquarters of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and its subsidiary, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCO) in Lagos and Port Harcourt, the Union said that it was angered by “the sudden sack of 21 contract staff without benefit.”

Zonal secretary of NUPENG, Najeemdeen Tokunbo Korodo, who stated this in a statement disclosed that the union took the decision “as a result of non-challant attitude of Shell and SNEPCO management” noting that the “union would have no choice other than to place ban on petroleum products supply to all the company’s facilities, home offices across the country.”

Beside this measure, Korodo said, “The union has concluded arrangement with other branches of the union to picket the headquarters of the company in Lagos and its offices in Warri and Port Harcourt.

According to him, the company’s management sacked the workers and humiliated them because of their collective decision to unionize after many years of meritorious service in the company.

He stressed: “About 21 of them were sacked without prior notice after they have spent between 15 and 25 years in the company. On the day of the incident, the affected workers, without prior knowledge resumed work only to be stopped at the gate.

“They collected their car keys, identity cards and presented them with sack letters just like that and without any benefit whatsoever.”

Maintaining that the union leaders had made frantic efforts to “meet with the management of Shell and its subsidiary, SNEPCO,” Korodo alleged that the meeting “arrangements were rebuffed by the Shell’s management.”

He continued: “Nobody is saying that Shell or SNEPCO should not retrench but if that is done the affected workers should be paid off. These people are human being not slaves; they have served the company with better part of their lives so they deserved to be rewarded.”

Korodo said though Shell and SNEPCO might be hiding under the clause of no condition of service to the casual workers in the company, the workers have served the company for so many years and needed to be paid.

He said that since the Shell management “has refused to listen to the union, arrangement has been concluded to picket the company any moment from now while the national body of the union has been put on notice.”

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