9th December, 2011
Workers in the oil and gas sector have threatened to embark on strike over alleged illegal deductions from their salaries by the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
The workers, under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), stated this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
The statement signed by the union general secretary, Mr Elijah Okougbo, gave SPDC three days to refund the deductions or face a nationwide strike.
â€œIf the SPDC fails to, among other things, refund the illegal monies deducted from membersâ€™ salaries for over one year and halt the increasing unfair labour practices, we will shut down operation,â€ the workers said.
They also threatened to report the management of the company to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), over an alleged connivance with an expelled official of the union on the sale of oil blocs, without due process.
They alleged that about N3 million was being deducted monthly from workers salary, and that the illegal deduction commenced over a year ago.
â€œThis levy is illegal as it is not approved by the National Executive Council (NEC) as required by the unionâ€™s constitution.
â€œThis is fragrant violation of the letter and spirit of NUPENG constitution and, therefore, constitutes a criminal act. It lacks probity and accountability.
â€œWe call on SPDC management to immediately refund all deductions to the workers or else, we will petition the EFCC to swing into action to ensure that deductions are paid back to the workers who are members of NUPENG,â€ the workers stated.
They also condemned the continuous outsourcing and contract staffing of workers by the company.