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NUPENG takes international oil firms to ILO over anti-labour practices

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NUPENG’s National President, Williams Akporeha

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has dragged some International Oil Companies (IOCs) to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) committee on standards over anti-labour practices in Nigeria. 
 
Making the presentation to the committee at the ILO building in Geneva, Switzerland, the President of NUPENG, William Akporeha, alleged that the status of NUPENG as a trade union organisation in terms of membership, financial capacity and ability to adequately organize and represent Nigerian oil and gas workers has been adversely affected by repressive anti labour and union activities of multinational oil companies.
 
He revealed that the struggle against every form of workers exploitation is almost three decades old and that struggle has not halted the depletion of its membership, indecent work entrenched resulting into upsurge in crime and social dislocations and defiant behaviours.
 
He listed refusal to allow unionisation of Contract and service contracts workers, fragmentation of contracts into thousands to frustrate the efforts of the union in organizing precarious workers and making workers sign pre-engagement non-membership of union. 
 
NUPENG accused Shell of introducing casualization in Nigeria, which has been inculcated by other oil firms.
 
“Currently, SHELL alone has close to 2000 contractors with over 20,000 precarious workers from their three subsidiaries of SNEPCo, SPDC and SNG; unfortunately, there is no single direct staff member of NUPENG in SHELL Nigeria.

And they have continuously frustrated union activities in their contracting companies, which run their contractual policies, ranging from 6 to 12 months”, it alleged.
 
It also alleged that Chevron Nigeria Ltd in 2012 abruptly and flagrantly converted a stable labour contract of six contractors that had full benefits of permanent employment conditions to 15 contractors into precarious working conditions.
 
It also alleged that in 2014, Mobil Producing Limited disengaged NUPENG’s members who were contract workers in Lagos and Eket through their contractor. 
 
It added: “As a result of this a lot of the workers have not been fully paid their terminal benefits, while those on the job are now being threatened not to join the Union as a condition to keep their jobs and moreover Mobil has also refused to employ permanent workers for more than 15 years.”
 
NUPENG also reported that NAOC (AGIP) ENI Group, of involving itself in the precarious work policies where all their services are handled by third party contractors with very poor working conditions and does not have.


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