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PENGASSAN pickets oil firm over sack of 64 workers

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Oil workers under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), on Tuesday, picketed the office of a multinational oil company, Baker Hughes, over the sack of 64 workers.

At the company’s office in Mansard House, Victoria Island area of Lagos State, some aggrieved workers chanted solidarity songs and held placards of various inscriptions to drive home their demands.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards read: “We say no to bad labour practices and “Baker Hughes stop denying us our rights.”

The PENGASSAN Industrial Relations Officer, Lagos Zone, Mr. Leroy Musa, expressed disappointment that despite the pleas and meetings held with Baker Hughes management, the company still locked out the employees.

He said: “The management was with PENGASSAN and discussed the conditions for separating members which usually is supposed to be a voluntary separation, agreed by law and signed, before implementation.

“Our members got to the office only to be locked outside the office on the ground that they have been sacked.

“No pre-notice, no meetings, and nothing to prepare the workers’ minds. We are here to say no to the injustice.

“PENGASSAN is against this, and we will fight against it.”

READ ALSO: PENGASSAN plans further resistance, after Chevron said it would fire 600 staff

Also, the Industrial Relations Officer, PENGASSAN, Baker Hughes Branch, Mr. Olisa Igwebike, said the company’s management had breached the agreements made earlier by both parties.

According to him, due process should have been followed before the management locked out the workers.

Igwebike said: “Typically, once negotiation has been done, we now agreed on the numbers of people that will be laid off and decided that we will be having a meeting afterward to complete all other modalities.

“When the meeting was to take place, the management locked out all the workers including union members; the management has already broken the process chain.

“It just means that as an entity, PENGASSAN, the management has no respect for authority, laws of the land and flouted the Department of Petroleum Resources and Ministry of Labour rules.”

The company’s Director of Communication, Mr. Olusegun Obagbemi, confirmed the development.

He, however, promised to get the necessary details on the issue and respond later.

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