NUPENG Petitions Labour Minister Over ‘Precarious Work Condition’ of Members

NUPENG National President, Comrade Williams Akporeha (left) presenting a plaque to the GMD of the NNPC, Dr. Maikanti Baru for his "giant strides in the nation's Oil & Gas Industry at the 4th NUPENG Delegates Confab with the theme "Living with Change: PIGB & the Aftermath for the Oil/Gas Workers" held in Abuja last week.

Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has petitioned the Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige on the need to checkmate precarious work  conditions being perpetrated by their various employers, especially Chevron, Shell and other International Oil Companies (IOC)

According to the petition which was obtained by Shipping Position Daily last week, the union president, Comrade Williams Akporeha listed the sins of the oil companies which includes refusal to allow unionization of contract staff, fragmentation of contract to frustrate the efforts of the union in organizing precarious workers and pressurizing workers to sign pre-engagement undertaking for non-membership of the union.

The union raised alarm about the alleged hidden plans and intention of the oil companies to unilaterally sack thousands of contract workers despite the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry.

NUPENG demanded immediate end to all forms of employment that offend human dignity and deny workers access to living wages, social protection and denial of the right to join the union.

Our correspondent reports that the petition is sequel to commemoration of the World Day for Decent Work, tagged “Stop Precarious Work Day” marked by NUPENG and other concerned unions to drive home their points. The celebration held in Lagos at NUPENG National Secretariat.

During the celebration, the workers moved to Lagos office of Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in Ikoyi to submit their joint communiqué so that their legitimate demands could be formally and urgently addressed by the government.

NUPENG in its petition however told the minister that “In the Oil and Gas sector, NUPENG and PENGASSAN have embarked on perennial campaigns and struggle to get SHELL, CHEVRON and other International Oil Companies operate in accordance with our labour laws and international labour standards”

“Recently, the NUPENGASSAN expressed worries and concerns with the manner Chevron’s management was executing the end of M-15 and H-15 contacts ending by October 31, 2018 which was laced with hidden plans and intention to unilaterally sack thousands of contract workers despite the ongoing intervention by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment as well as the established Labour Contract Staffing Guidelines in the oil and gas industry”

“We ask employers of labour to respect the law and where the law is observed in breach , the ministry of labour and other agencies of Government should enforce the law”

“We demand that the Federal Ministry of Labour under the leadership of Dr Chris Ngige stand up and renew its commitment and will to further enhance its monitoring duties and ensure that every employer complies with the provisions of our labour laws”

“Precarious work refers to work relationship with no distinct terms of employment such as the letter of employment stating the terms and conditions of employment.  Precarious workers are indirect employees who are hired, supervised and remunerated by a contractor who in turn is compensated by the Company”

“Thus Industrial relations practice is virtually absent in the environment of precarious work since trade unions are not allowed to organise workers. Workers are not allowed to have representation or interface with the Principal or the Contractor {Hiring Party} who most times has no identifiable address or formal structure to facilitate Industrial relations”

“This development is great assault on the welfare and dignity of Workers and it has negative consequences for the union as well. The effects on workers and trade unions are quite obvious and include; lack of employment contract, lack of job security, long hours of work beyond statutory 8 hours, Non Payment of overtime, low and uncertain wages, poor working conditions, Non-payment of pension contribution, Denial of workers right to join the union and bargain collectively among others” 

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