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PENGASSAN Pickets SAPETRO,as Mrs Danjuma threatens to sack all the workers

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has picketed Sapetro for terminating the appointment of 10 workers without following the due process.
The workers were sacked during the process of an ongoing negotiation with the Lagos State zone of PENGASSAN plus the local branch and the company’s management on the Collective Bargain Agreement (CBA), which is to be renewed as the previous agreement had elapsed.
The workerss protesting
Staffs prevented from entering
The Union body joined the workers of Sapetro, who had besieged the company as early as 7am with placards condemning the sack, and the management’s decision to pay the sacked workers token as there was no CBA in place.
Chairman, Lagos State zone of PENGASSAN, Comrade Abel Agarin, who led the picketing said the sack is unjust and it shows that the company’s management is callous, insensitive and has no regards for labour, as they were in an ongoing meeting on getting the CBA that will be beneficial to all parties.
The workers
Agarin said the picketing will continue until the sacked workers are recalled as he asserts “we want the sacked workers recalled before we can sit for negotiation. We don’t want to know the force behind Sapetro, no matter what they are doing. We saw the vice chairman, Sen Daisy Danjuma parked somewhere while we are here, trying to intimidate our branch chairman, but no matter the intimidation, they must call the 10 persons back to work before we can negotiate or else the picketing continues”.
Tracing the genesis of the issue,he said: ”The issue is that about a month or two ago, Sapetro notify us that they were trying to do a restructuring of their system and we know that in such situation employees must be affected, we told them that fine we are not averse to your restructuring but we have a CBA that has expired and there’s a need for us to sit down and negotiate a new CBA.
“So while we still discussing on it, there was a meeting we held in August and we told the management fine,because they came up with an excuse that they have a project they were handling in the Republic of Benin, Cotonou that fails and as a result they spent a lot on the project, we symphatised with them and say fine if that’s the case ,they came up with that since the project failed they cannot continue but to restructure.
Sapetro Towers
“We gave them two options, either you forget the restructuring and let our staffs be, continue with the business, we give you from now till January 2016 when we can negotiate the CBA, the other option is that if the restructuring must go on, we must negotiate our CBA which has expired, the management said the two options is null, they not taking either of it. We said no, that they should give us CBA, continue with their restructuring and give us the name of the staffs they want to lay off, the meeting ended in a deadlock and all parties went away.
“We are still on it and the next thing we heard is that management has started circulating redundancy letters, we said we have not agreed you distributing letters of redundancy, we still discussing, based on that, another meeting was scheduled when we wrote them that the sack is not acceptable to us, that they have to recall those people back to work before we sit again for talks on the CBA, we scheduled a meeting again,all they told us was that fine the incident has happen, what they expects us to do is come to the meeting with our demands but we told them our demands are already with you people which is the CBA we submitted for negotiation that you people refuse to attend to. All said and done, all they were saying is that they want us to negotiate, we told them no, as under this circumstance when you have already sent our staffs home, we cannot negotiate, you took the decisions on your own without telling anybody.
“We know that there are laws in this country which is you are not allowed to dismiss any senior staff until you give them their CBA, follow due process, which was not followed in this exercise. It is the prerogative of management to hire and fire, but the union has to sit and agree, other companies have done this and we didn’t picket them because we agreed and we talk to our members to accept. We are not against their restructuring, downsizing, we just have to talk about the workers benefit”, he added.
Sapetro is under lock, as the protesting unionists blocked the entrance of the company with policemen drafted to maintain law and order, as the Labour leaders are called into a meeting with the company’s management brokered by the head of the police unit at the scene.
There was a mild drama as the policemen and some of the protesting workers almost engaged in fisticuffs, when the police acting on orders from above want to chase the workers from the gate.
Mrs Daisy Danjuma was alleged to have threaten to liquidate the company, sack the workers and open a new company in her statement to the local chairman of PENGASSAN in the company, as she entered the company with her security aide.


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