Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has asked the federal government to call Chevron Oil Company and other multinationals to order in a bid to halt planned moves to lay off thousands of Nigerian employees in their companies.
In a statement issued by TUC yesterday, the union accused the management of Chevron and other multinationals of scheming to relocate jobs to home countries and also replace Nigerians in their establishments with their nationals.
The a statement signed by TUC President, Quadri Olaleye, and Secretary General, Musa-Lawal Ozigi, the Congress said it had information that “Chevron management recently notified about 2,000 of its employees that their services are no longer required and that those still interested in working with them should apply afresh for a new job.”
According to TUC, “This development runs contrary to Nigerian laws regulating the oil and gas industry, and other industries in the country, as it does not protect our national interest. This is an imperialist agenda that must not be allowed to stay, most especially as we have just finished celebrating our 60th Independence as a sovereign country.
“Agreed, the coronavirus pandemic did hit the world real hard, but should that make organisations lose their humanity? It is obvious that the management wants to casualise Nigerians. Is this a way to compensate workers who have risked their lives, even during the lockdown to sustain production?”
It said it was imperative to remind the federal government that job creation is one of its mantras.
“In fact this government made the creation of 1 million jobs per year a must if voted into power. Furthermore, an approval was also given for the employment of 1,000 employees in the NNPC by the government, which to us, is an effort geared towards fulfilling its promise on job creation. Why should this come up now?
“Mr. President we are Nigerians, and it is expedient that we defend our interest. We should consider this move by Chevron management as an insult on our collective existence as a country. With our 60 percent stake in Chevron, we should have a say. The Congress will not turn its back on the oil workers.
“We must know that sacking 2,000 employees who are married men and women is the same as sacking ten thousand people. The additional eight thousand are their dependents (wives, husband, children, parents, in-laws and unemployed friends),” it said.
TUC added that organised labour has made a lot of sacrifices and compromises to maintain a peaceful industrial atmosphere since this administration commenced.
It stated that it appeared that the union tolerance and show of understanding is being taken for granted.
“We are against this imperialist agenda. We are going to check this manipulation. Nigeria is our fatherland and we have a labour law that regulates the activities of organisations. This law cannot be breached. They must follow the due process,” the Congress said.