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Published On: Tue, Oct 22nd, 2013

Delta State: Oil Workers Threaten to Shut Down Ughelli Pumping Stations

LAGOS OCTOBER 22ND (URHOBOTODAY)-The lingering rift between the management of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and contract workers at the OML 30, over the delay in the payment of salaries, assumed a new dimension at the weekend.
The workers, under the aegis of Community Contract Workers’ Association, OML 30, on Monday told the management of the company to part ways with one of its contractors in the operational area, (names withheld) or risk the shutting down of the Ughelli Pumping Station (UPS), Ughelli.

It was gathered that the workers were irked by the alleged threats of the Managing Director of the contracting firm to sack their chairman, Joseph Onororaivwerhen, because of his union activities.
The workers, who had been groaning over the non-payment of their six months salary, had embarked on a work to rule action from October 14 to 18.
Assistant secretary of the association, Aaron Ohwo, while briefing newsmen on the development, explained: “NPDC usually pays us salaries through the contractors but the contractors said without payment from NPDC to them, no payment can be made to us.
“We wrote to NPDC before we went on the work to rule action and the Managing Director of NPDC spoke to us in a telephone conversation through our chairman and assured that arrangements were being made for our salaries to be paid soon. The MD now made available the cash payment of one month salary immediately for us to call off the action.
“The money was made available to the three contractors operating in the UPS for onward payment to the workers. Two of the contractors complied with the directive of the MD but one of the companies vehemently refused to pay his workers, saying that NPDC has no right to compel him to pay his employees.
“Now he is threatening to sack our chairman, Mr. Joseph Onororayevwerhen, who works with him because of his insistence that the salaries must be paid. The association has resolved that it no longer wants the operations of that contractor in OML 30. If he continues to operate, there will be a complete shutdown of NPDC’s operations in OML 3O”.
Source: Daily Independent

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