Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Rivers State, has threatened to embark on a nationwide strike if the Management of Valiant Energy West African Limited fails to come to terms with the Union before the expiration of the three-day ultimatum.
National Treasurer of NUPENG, Comrade Alex Agwanwor, who made this known in an interview with our correspondent Tina Amanda, during a protest at the premises of the company located along Trans-Amadi industrial layout, in Port Harcourt local government area said the Managing Director of the company, Adolor Uwamu, breached agreements reached with the Union by refusing to pay workers their terminal benefits.
Comrade Agwanwor noted that the company sacked more than fifty workers in October 2019 without pay and since then, the Union members have not been paid their outstanding salaries and entitlements.
“If after the three days ultimatum and Adolor Uwamu did not show up, then the nation should expect the worst. As a Union, we can no longer tolerate employers that treat Nigerians with all forms of slavery mentality, they take citizens of the country to industrial market after working, the company will run away with their benefits.
“It is no longer acceptable, as a union we will fight this fight to finish. We have involved Federal Ministry of Labour and employment both in Abuja and Port Harcourt, we have followed all due processes from the Zonal Council. The Zone has written to the Department of State Security DSS and Commissioner of Police Rivers State.
“Nwamu has been invited severally, he refused to honour all invitations by government, security and regulatory agencies. This man is not invisible, he is not above the law, nobody owns the country, it is the masses that own the country.
“As a Union, we will do everything we can in our power to make sure our members get all their benefits”
On his part, Zonal Chairman NUPENG, Port Harcourt, Comrade Mina Samuel, recalled that the Managing Director of the company is in the habit of denying workers their benefits.
He appealed to the state government and all relevant bodies to intervene or the Union will be forced to carry out industrial action.
“Nwamu is in the habit of denying workers their rights and benefits, he is in the habit of registering multiple companies in order to defraud Nigerians workers.
‘Nwamu is a wicked man, he wants to enslave his fellow Nigerian, he terminated the Union workers appointment in the disguise of going to maintain a rig without engaging the Union.
“He boasted to have connections with the presidency, minister of labour, claiming that he is untouchable. We are appealing to the state government and all relevant authorities to intervene or the Union will be forced to take drastic action in the state and across the nation”
Also speaking, Head of Administration, NUPENG Port Harcourt, Comrade Chinda Ejims, said Adolor Uwamu had previously worked with the Union workers with a different company name and left with their benefit, and has repeated the same act under Valiant Energy service Limited.
“This inhumane treatment must stop. Currently, Uwamu is drilling for Shell, yet he does not want to pay workers after sacking them in the pretence of going for rig maintenance”
Deputy President of NUPENG, Comrade Basset Harry, stressed that if the situation is not urgently intervened on,
the union will shut down its services.
“The petroleum tanker drivers and petrol station attendants will all join the solidarity to observe the proposed strike. We have been pushed to the wall”