Protest As Company Sacks Workers For Unionism

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Obiajunwo Paul, Port Harcourt

The disengaged workers of EXTERRAN Holdings International Company has protested what they described as unjust treatment and sack of Nigeria workers working under foreigners.

The  alleged that their employers disengaged them from work without any benefit because they identified with their umbrella bodies,the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN)

In a protest yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, the aggrieve workers barricaded the company gate located at  Aba-Port  Harcourt highway demanding justice for their sack.

Some of the frustrated workers who spoke with The Nation expressed displeasure with the manner in which the company handles their sack after working for more than 10years.

They maintained that the company disengaged them from services because of their strong relationship with the union (NUPENG andPENGASSAN).

The workers noted that their membership with the bodies is founded in Nigerian Labour Law, adding that the company hates the bodies because they are bent on oppressing their employees.

The company Chairman of PENGASSAN, Mr. Tony Osi , who was also affected by the sack accused the company of not been insensitive to workers’ welfare and called on the two umbrella bodies to intervene over the workers plight.

Osi said:  EXTERRAN as an anti-unionism company has given 25 of us unlawful dismissal as against the Nigerian Labour Law. They cannot stop us from being under our umbrella bodies. They should pay us off before terminating our appointment.”

“They are trying to force us to become casual staff members by unlawful imposition of new manual but we are telling them that it cannot happen. We are Nigerians, the company must respect the labour law and they must understand the important of unionism”

Meanwhile, every effort made to reach the country’s Director to comment on this issue proved abortive as he was out of the country when the protest was taking place.