- Oil Workers Picket Neconde Over Benefits
Members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria on Monday picketed the premises of Neconde Energy Limited over alleged breach of an agreement reached with the company to pay its workers’ transfer and severance benefits.
The aggrieved workers alleged that the company had agreed to review their severance benefits, field allowance and transfer benefits within 13 days from February 23, 2017.
The Lagos State Branch Chairman of PENGASSAN, Abel Agarin, said that the agreement was reached after the workers complained about the permanent transfer of some of them to the Warri office in view of the restructuring in the company.
According to him, the proposal made by the company on the transfer and severance benefits is significantly different from industry standards and far lower than that made in previous engagement with the company’s representatives.
Agarin said, “The communication on transfer and severance/terminal benefit was eventually sent to employees at 11:26pm on Monday, April 10, 2017, without any form of negotiation with the association and after so much verbal and written internal agitation.
“The details of the transfer and severance benefits as sent by the management were significantly different from, and far lower than the proposal made in previous engagements with the representatives.
“The Lagos zonal office immediately wrote the Chairman of Neconde on Tuesday, April 11, 2017, stating clearly that management’s position on the transfer and severance benefits was not in line with industry standards and demanding for an urgent meeting on Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
“However, Neconde management totally ignored the association by not acknowledging receipt of the letter and not also meeting with any of the union’s officers at the branch, zonal or national level.”
However, the management of Neconde through its Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Segun Fafore, said the management had enjoyed cooperation with the workers, urging the union to embrace labour union practices by exploring negotiation and collaboration.
“We are currently in talks with the leadership of PENGASSAN to ensure that we reach a mutually beneficial agreement on some of the demands presented by the association. Even as of Monday, May 15, 2017, the management had provided the association with an update and called for a meeting to discuss the remaining potential areas that may still exist,” Fafore stated.