Oil workers shut OML 147, 98 over unpaid severance allowances
By Nosa Akenzua
The joint union of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASAN), on Tuesday shutdown OML 98 and OML 147 belonging Pan-Ocean over several months of unpaid severance allowance.
It was gathered that the flow station fields at Ovade-Oghara, Ethiope West local government area in Delta state has been partially taken over by Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), over the failure of the oil firm to resolve the lingering crisis with workers.
The two unions had ordered for the shutting down of the flow station due to several months of unpaid severances of the Pan Ocean workers which the management and the federal government have signed more than a year ago without implementation leading to non-payment of workers.
The workers are allegedly angry that after several months of writing series of letters of reminder to Pan Ocean Management to pay them, yet the management refused to pay as was agreed with the workers.
OML 98 and OML 147 Oredo and other companies whose products flow through the Pan-Ocean flow station have all been affected as 30,000 BPD crude oil go off Nigeria quantum of crude daily production.
The union are accusing the Management of Pan Ocean of being insensitive in refusing to play their own part, the workers noted that NNPC, NAPIMS and other relevant government agencies are ready to pay but Pan Ocean Management have vehemently refused to play their role for the fund to be released for their payment.
They are demanding for immediate signing of the Memorandum of Understanding MOU in order for Federal Government to make payment in order to stop further delay by Pan Ocean management to make their payment.
They stated further that they have not being paid full salary in the past four months, no payment of three years pension, no payment of tax benefits in the past 7 years as well as other allowances.
The two Unions are accusing Pan Ocean of unnecessary delay of their payment in order for easy takeover of the assets by the federal government, they stressed that NNPC GMB, Male Kyari has waded into the matter, assuring that workers will be paid, but the top management of Pan-Ocean is not agreeing to sign the MOU for payment of the unionised workers 60 percent of what they are owing them.
However, the top management Committee of Pan Ocean has refused to sign the MOU which on Tuesday sparked off the present industrial unrest between the workers and the company.
Recall that the NUPENG Branch Chairman, Comrade Aboy Udi, PENGASSAN Branch Chairman, Comrade Rex Aibangbee as well as NUPENG National PRO, Comrade Cogent Ojobor and PENGASSAN Warri Zonal Council Vice Chairman, Comrade Prince Audu Peter Oshiokhamele with NUPENGASSAN National President, Williams Eniredonana Akporehe and PENGASSAN National President comrade, Comrade Osifo Festus gave Pan Ocean and federal government as well as relevant agencies 48 hours starting from December 7, 2020, to meet up the demands of the workers or shut down their operations.
It was gathered that all Pan Ocean operational bases and including its cooperate headquarters in Lagos have also shut down operations in solidarity with the workers’ industrial action. They have also threatened the total shutdown of other companies whose product flows through their lines if their demands are not met within 7-days of their warning strike.