Akwa Ibom - Disengaged workers contract workers of ExxonMobil in Eket, Akwa Ibom, are demanding payment of their terminal benefits from the company.
The workers in a statement issued in Uyo on Sunday and signed by Mr Joseph Okon and Mr Godwin Idim, said that the delay in paying them had caused serious problems for the affected workers.
The aggrieved workers said that they had joined the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) since 2006 and were entitled to rights and privileges under collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
``We were unionised by NUPENG long before other service contract workers in other multinational oil companies but today the workers got their CBA while those in Mobil are massively sacked without any benefit.
“How can a company sack over 1,300 people at once in the job that is on-going?
“It is extremely embarrassing and ridiculous to see people suffering in the midst of plenty,” the workers said.
The sacked workers alleged that ExxonMobil management had in January 2008, agreed to pay terminal benefits to contract staff whose services were no longer required.
Hence “we are demanding that all Service Contract Workers sacked from work from 2006 till date be paid their terminal benefits using the existing Labour Contract CBA,” the workers said.
They said that series of meetings and protests in the past by the workers had yet to yield positive results.
The group called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter as the last intervention by the Akwa Ibom Government did not make any impression on Mobil.
``We want the Federal Government to intervene because of the pending doom on the economy of the country.
``If the Federal Government fails to call Mobil to order and the matter resolved in peace whatsoever happens to Mobil, we should not be blamed,” the workers threatened.
Reacting to the threat by the workers, the spokesman of ExxonMobile, Mr Yemi Fakayejo, told NAN that the sacked workers were not staff of the company.
He decried the violent attitude employed by the disengaged workers to get their entitlements, warning that no amount of threat would make the company to shift ground.
Fakayejo said that the sacked persons were Janitorial workers of the over 1,300 employed as service contractors, whose contract had been terminated.
He, however, said that about 700 of the disengaged workers had been reabsorbed by the new service contractors just engaged by the company.