Uche Usim, Abuja
Two prominent pressure groups in the petroleum sector have frowned at the sack of 850 contract staff of various redundant refineries by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The two bodies; Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), in a statement signed by the Presidents of the two groups, Williams Akporeha, and Mr Ndukaku Ohaeri, respectively, described the move as saddening.
The statement was entitled “NUPENG and PENGASSAN strongly react to comments by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, on refineries and oil and gas workers”.
The unions said that while the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, threatened to sack some oil workers, the fact of the matter was that he had since made good the threat.
They said: ‘On the purported threat of the Group Managing Director of NNPC to sack workers, we wish to state here that it was actually no more a threat but that it had already been carried out with the sack of 850 support staff in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, throwing almost a thousand workers into a hard financial situation without an iota of empathy or consultation with the union.’
The unions added they never threatened strike, but only demanded to be engaged for a proper discussion on the commensurate terminal benefits of the workers who had worked for 10 to 15 years.