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PENGASSAN, ExxonMobil May Clash Over Staff Disengagement

Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) seems to be on war path with the management of ExxonMobil over its plan to disengage its local workers.

The association, in a statement by its president, Comrade Olabode Johnson, said the union was disappointed with fresh disengagement letters served many Nigerian executives in the oil firm, saying the union would confront the management with a protracted labour dispute.

He said the union had on three occasions warned the multinational to desist from its discriminatory de-Nigerianisation stance, which has, in the last three years, excluded Nigerians from performing strategic functions in the establishment.

The union noted that membership of the entire special review, which determined the current spate of sacks, retirements and job losses are whites, saying there was no single Nigerian in the team.

PENGASSAN sources early said the company had demonstrated impunity in its activities, to the extent of ignoring court summons and appearances and gone forward to relieve top Nigerians of their positions.

The union said: “It is unfortunate that reported intimidation, harassment, bullying, witch-hunting and unethical practices, reported against the special review or investigation team by PENGASSAN was not investigated and addressed by the firm.

“The demand of PENGASSAN communicated through our letter dated November 21, 2018 to suspend the review, was ignored and treated with utmost disdain.

“Our sources can reveal that the company, which is now inundated with several legal issues relating to this, is not relenting in its plots of de-Nigerianisation, and has replaced its Nigerian security employees with a new arrival of over 30 foreigners posted within and outside the establishment. This development trails the occurrence, few months ago, where a good number of some lower employees were replaced in the same manner.”

Johnson said the action attracted a protracted legal tussle which the company eventually lost, even though it went on to accomplish its bidding.

“Our investigations indicated that the current spate of replacements and terminations are grossly against the Presidential order recently released by the Federal Government, which, among other things, seeks to enforce local content in procurement and employment among companies operating in Nigeria,” the union said.