Lagos - Official activities was on Wednesday halted temporarily at the headquarters of Addax Petroleum Plc by members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) for alleged anti-labour issues.
Members of the union including workers of the oil exploring and prospecting company, gathered at the company's office early in the morning and disrupted commercial activities by chanting solidarity songs all through the working hours.
According to a statement issued by PENGASSAN and signed by its Media Officer, Babatunde Oke, "the oil company was insensitive to the health and safety of its workers in operational areas, career progression and development.”
The union also accused the company of “undue delay of the ongoing collective bargaining agreement, which has been on for eight months."
The union also demanded Addax Petroleum management’s urgent address and resolution of all health and safety issues raised in the collective agreement.
Addressing the members, the Addax Petroleum PENGASSAN branch Chairman, Kingsley Onoyom, accused the management of high handedness on issues of health and safety of the workers.
“We have registered our concern over the offshore transportation system and feeding at the Izombe Flow Station but the management has refused to do anything to fix the problem,” he said.
He alleged that many of the members have not been promoted in the last eight years, while some are on the same job without promotion for 15 years.
Onoyom said: “We have done everything to ensure that the management close out the negotiation of our collective bargaining agreement that commenced since November 2013 but instead management continued to delay and this is affecting our morale and productivity.
“When our national secretariat tried to mediate and ensure that the negotiation continues and is closed out early, the management embarrassed our national officers by denying them entry.”
Also speaking, the Lagos Zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, Abel Agarin, urged the company’s management to return to negotiating table for the conclusion of the collective bargaining agreement.
Agarin said that the union would only suspend the ongoing picketing when the oil company show enough commitment in meeting the workers demands.
Reacting on the issues, Addax Petroleum Compnay, spokesman, Micheal Nwhoko, described as regrettable the public demonstration by the Lagos Zone of PENGASSAN at their office.
"The demonstration is as a result of industrial relations issues between the Management and the Association.
“Engagements are on-going at the National, Zonal and Branch levels of PENGASSAN to reach amicable resolutions in the interest of all parties.
"The Management is committed to dialogue and it is expected that PENGASSAN will continue with current engagements so that all issues can be resolved harmoniously," he said.
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