The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has sacked no fewer than 850 contract staff working in the nation’s refineries, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) alleged.
Both unions stated this on Monday in a joint statement issued to decried the development.
The statement said the sacked contract staff otherwise known as support staff are drawn from the Warri, Port Harcourt and Kaduna refineries.
The statement signed by the National President, NUPENG, Williams Akporeha, and his counterpart in PENGASSAN, Mr Ndukaku Ohaeri, as well as their general secretaries faulted the decision, saying throwing the workers into the labour market in the pandemic period shown the corporation lacks empathy.
“On the purported threat of the Group Managing Director of NNPC to sack workers, we wish to state here that it was actually no more a threat but that it had already been carried out with the sack of 850 support staff in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, throwing almost a thousand workers into hard financial situation without an iota of empathy or consultation with the union,” it said.
The unions said they never threatened to go on strike, but that they only demanded to be engaged for a proper discussion on the commensurate terminal benefits of the workers who had worked for 10 to 15 years.
They said, “We found it rather highly inhuman and unfair on the part of NNPC management to sack these workers with only their last paycheques after 15 good years of their lives in NNPC.
“If a Minister of Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Group Managing Director of NNPC can dismiss contract workers that have served for more than 10 years continuously as if they are rodents, what more can we expect from lOCs. The monthly salaries of 25 of these contract staff put together cannot equal a typical management staff salary of the same organisation.”