The national leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has issued a seven-day ultimatum to Chevron, asking the oil firm to recall its 32 sacked workers who are members of the union.
The union in a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday expressed ‘deep frustration’ and ‘disappointment’ over a directive from Chevron Nigeria Limited telling its contractor, Cordeau Nigeria Limited, to sack 32 workers for insisting on being NUPENG members.
The statement read in part, “NUPENG with every atom of strength in us is vehemently opposed to this unpatriotic and uncivilised move in view of our assertive commitment to the protection of jobs of our members, considering the high level of unemployment in the country.
“In view of this heart-breaking dilemma, which is currently posing a huge threat to the nation’s industrial peace and harmony as well as socio-economic activities of the citizenry, the union is using this medium to reach out to the management of Chevron to call back to work all the sacked workers forthwith.”
It added, “Consequent on the above demand and having taken us for granted, NUPENG hereby puts all our members on red alert should Chevron Nigeria Limited and its contractor fail to honour or comply with our demand within the next seven days.
“We would also not hesitate to take all necessary legal options available to us, including nationwide industrial actions and demonstrations, to press home our legitimate and urgent request.”
According to NUPENG, the sack which was carried out at the twilight of 2019 was in a bad taste and an affront to labour and workers’ rights as well as human rights relating to relationship between workers and employers, contained in the international labour and employment law.
It stated that one of the most fundamental of workers’ rights was the right to freedom of association, which was otherwise known as the right to organise.