By: Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
The National President, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Comrade Francis Johnson, has said the association will resist any employment model that tend to exploit casual workers and those in contract employment in the oil and gas sector.
He said this on Thursday in Abeokuta at the 5th triennial delegates conference of the Lagos Zone of the association held in the rock city.
Johnson warned all managements of the oil and gas companies operating in the country to strictly adhere to the implementation of the guidelines on contract and casual staffing in ensuring that all employees were treated equally.
He stated that the association had ensured that their members who were unjustly sacked were reinstated.
He said, “Our position as labour is that any employment model or policy that is found to be deceptively exploitative with tendency to degrade jobs, as obtained in casualisation and contract employment will be resisted.
“We called on various managements to strictly adhere to implementation of the guidelines on contract and casual staffing in the oil and gas industry and ensure that all employees are treated equally.”
Johsnson who was represented the zonal secretary, Muhammed Wada, noted there where there were frictions in labour relations, and it had been resolved through dialogue and constructive engagement.
He was optimistic that the passage of the bill and its eventual signing into law, would not only allow communities to own refineries, it would also help in dousing youth restiveness and agitations that could lead to crises.
Johnson, who expressed the association’s support for the government’s efforts at ensuring that the four refineries in the country work at optimal capacity, added, “government should encourage the building of efficient refineries and petrochemical plants to maximize crude oil derivatives and also put in place an effective Turn-Around-Maintenance System for the existing ones.”
While decclaring the conference open, Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, described the association as one of the most vibrant unions in the country since its inception almost 40 years ago.
The governor, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Tolu Odebiyi, noted that petroleum played a vital role in the country’s economy and urged the association to continue to dialogue with government on the way forward especially as the country was trying to get out of the present economic recession.