The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria or Pengassan, picketed the premises of ChevronTexaco Overseas on Wednesday. The union workers are picketing over anti-labor policies allegedly targeted at its work force recently transferred from Texaco Overseas.
The demonstration halted all business activities at the company despite the presence of policemen. The protesting workers threatened a nation-wide industrial strike if the management of the company did not meet their demands.
The president of the association, Comrade Sina Luwoye, addressed the protest rally and levied allegations of unfair labor practices against employees transferred from Texaco to the new company. The grievances of the workers include transfer of TOPCON employees to Chevron without their consent in contravention of Section 1 of Rule 10 of the Nigerian Labor Act (Cap 198), which provided that transfer of contract from one employer to another should be with the consent of the employees concerned. Other grievances include termination of the appointments of 129 TOPCON employees and demotion of some others. The workers also cited the transfer of Texaco staff to a third party without reviewing the conditions of service and the redeployment of redundant expatriate staff to the country to take up jobs meant for Nigerians.
He indicated that it was only in Nigeria that the guidelines were not being meticulously implicated adding that the guidelines were severely breached by the management of Chevron necessitating the picketing.