The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has shut down operations at all the depots belonging to Total oil company, citing refusal of the company to allow its staff members participate in union activities as well as sacking members who take part in union activities.
In a statement by the South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Tokunbo Korodo, in Lagos State, the union said it has mandated its members to stop all loading activities at all Total depots and terminals nationwide until the company’s management addresses the situation.
Korodo alleged that the management of Total has consistently resisted the unionisation of workers under its contract programme in Lagos, Kaduna and Koko, Delta State blending plants.
The NUPENG zonal chairman further said that the company had moved further to terminate the appointment of workers who had joined the union.
He said: “In view of this, the union has directed all workers in Total downstream to stop work until the management allows workers to unionise and slave labour introduced are cancelled.
“This action should commence immediately.”
When correspondents from the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, visited Total Blending Plant at Kirikiri, Lagos State, it was observed that workers blocked the entrance of the gate with two trailers.
The workers brandished various placards with inscriptions such as: “Nigerians enslaving Nigerians in Nigeria; “Total and Jomog want to sack us because we joined NUPENG”.
However, Rotimi Benjamin, the Zonal Vice-Chairman of the South West Chapter of NUPENG, told the journalists that the management of Total Plc has summoned the union to a meeting to resolve the issue.
He added that the union would not go back on its industrial action until all the issues had been amicably resolved.