Written by Chuks NZEH

PENGASSAN warn against members sack

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has warned that labour will not condone the sack of its members under any guise.

PENGASSAN president, Comrade Francis Johnson, made this known in a statement at the recently concluded the International Labour Conference, ILC, which held in Geneva, Switzerland and made available to journalists in Abuja.

Johnson noted that there might be a looming crisis in the oil and gas sector, following plans by Chevron to sack 500 workers, adding that measures are already being taken to avert such crisis, but warned that labour will not fold its arms and watch Nigerians lose their jobs.

According to him, "For example, we have a case at hand now where Chevron through HM15, they are trying to lay off about 500 of our members. And there will be issues. Prayers session has already started. We are also sensitising you to know that there is crisis looming. So, we must put our heads together, let's see how we can avert this."

He also reacted on plans by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB, and the oil producers trade section, OPTS, aimed at reducing the long contracting cycle in the nation oil and gas sector.

He said the union and its counterpart, NUPENG, had already rejected such move but will be holding further meetings upon their return to Nigeria to tackle the issue, which he warns may lead to another crisis in the sector.

He said, "If you are going to formulate policies, we are stakeholders. There is need for us to sit down and discuss so that instead of us being reactive, we will be proactive to see how we can also avert the crisis. Because we know the volatility of the oil and gas sector.

"If we decide that we are shutting down, we know the repercussions, the effect. There will be queues, there will crisis and uncertainties. But we also don't want that to happen. So we saw the publication that NCDMB, OPTS, minister of state for petroleum that they have taken a decision about contract staffing and we issued a statement that it is not going to be acceptable.”

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