allAfrica.com: PENGASSAN Accuses Shell of Flouting House Order: “...frowned at the management of Shell over their court injunction at the Federal High Court against the union despite an agreement reached by both parties on the 18th of October 2004…” (ShellNews.net) Posted 13 Nov 04
This Day (Lagos)
November 11, 2004
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has accused Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Limited of flouting house order.
This came as a result of SPDC disobedience to the House Committee on Petroleum Matters that the oil company should stop the "Securing Our Future" programme which have been in operation for the past eleven months. The order is due to the perceived mass retrenchment which will occur in the course of the exercise.
The senior staff workers in a release signed by their general secretary, Comrade (Dr) M.M. Fadakinte, said that the refusal of the management of Shell to include the unions in its meeting to reach a conclusion to cushion the negative effect of the reorganisation exercise will have on the workers led to the two days warning strike led by the union.
According to Fadakinte, "The Management of SPDC commenced the process of re-organisation titled 'Securing Our Future (SOFU)' in the past 11 months a programme which objective was to reduce Nigeria employees in the company by about half. In view of the job loses the programme will involve, we reported the matter to the House of Representatives and at its second sitting on 28th April 2004, over the matter the House Committee on Petroleum Matter directed the SPDC to place a ban on the SOFU process until they are able to convince the House of Assembly of the necessity for the exercise. A directive SPDC ignored and has since refused to meet with the committee."
He also added "SPDC management's refusal to involve the union in its discussions and the devastating effects the reorganisation will have on Nigerian employees led to the unions embarking on a peaceful two-day warning strike on 7th and 8th of October, 2004."
He frowned at the management of Shell over their court injunction at the Federal High Court against the union despite an agreement reached by both parties on the 18th of October 2004 that the SPDC management would continue discussing with the branch of the union on the SOFU process and other related matters and that SPDC will get back to PENGASSAN secretariat before any action is taken.
Fadakinte said that the oil company is praying the court to restrain them from protesting their action. he further said that if the company had succeeded in the action the two unions in oil and gas would not be involve in discussion on SOFU embarking on any industrial crisis should any retrenchment have occurred and would have been restrain from participating in the proposed national strike.
"To our utter dismay, the management of SPDC without any further recourse to our union, went to the Federal High Court seeking an injunction to perpetually restrain our union from protesting their action i.e. the retrenchment."
"If SPDC had succeeded in getting the order of perpetual injunction, the two union in the oil and gas industry would have been restrained from further negotiation on the SOFU, embarking on any action by the time SPDC management would have retrenched half of its workers without discussing it and would be further restrained from joining the proposed national strike or any strike to protect the welfare of Shell staff," he stated.