NUPENG pickets General Electric for failing to settle ex-staff benefits

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas in Lagos on Monday picketed the office of General Electric over non settlement of benefits of its ex-staff, four years after they were relived of their duties.
The union, in solidarity with the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, blocked the entrance into the company, not allowing staff and management into the compound.
A News Agency of Nigeria correspondent at the scene reports that the protesters were seen in red attire, chanting solidarity songs and carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: “GE must pay ARCO to pay our members.”
The Lagos Zonal Chairman, NUPENG, Tayo Aboyeji, said since 2016, the ex-staff of ARCO, a contractor company to GE, who were dismissed from service were yet to be paid their entitlements.
Aboyeji said since their dismissal and over the years, many of the ex-staff had had health challenges and some had to withdraw their children from school.
He said: “We have been to the Ministry of Labour to sign a memorandum of understanding, and they agreed to pay.
“We also went to the Department of State Services and they mediated, yet, GE has refused to do the needful.
“That is why we are here to picket them.”
The Chairman, ARCO Branch of PENGASSAN, Amadike Clinton, said the protest would continue if GE refused to accede to their demands.
Amadike said close to six of the ex-staff had died between 2016 till date because there was no means of getting adequate healthcare due to lack of funds.
He said: “We are urging GE to honour the agreement reached at the instance of the Ministry of Labour and do the needful.
“Either they pay ARCO or go and settle with the Federal Inland Revenue Service and pay the workers.”
In his remarks, the National Treasurer, PENGASSAN, Victor Ononokpono, said the issues bordered on false deductions of the members’ benefits.
Ononokpono said: “We established the fact that apart from those deductions, there were also other dealings with regards to double taxations which is extant financial regulations of the country.
“We have decided to shut down their operations.”
All efforts by NAN to get GE’ s reaction proved abortive.
NAN made a telephone call to a representative of GE, Francis Oganya, who picked his call, but did not respond.
Also, a text message was sent to Oganya, he still failed to respond at the time of filling this report.