Babatunde Ogun, the President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, on Friday in Lagos said that the casualisation of workers in the Oil and Gas sector was exploitative.
Ogun spoke at a news conference organised to give account of his stewardship as his three-year tenure gradually rolls to an end.
According to him, casualisation and contract employment for jobs that should ordinarily be permanent and pensionable in nature has continued unabated in the oil and gas sector in the country.
He said: “Many employers now resort to changing the permanent model of employment to suit their selfish and personal motives.
“Our position as labour is that any employment model or policy that is found to be deceptively exploitative and dehumanising will be seriously resisted.”
Ogun called on employers of labour in the sector to reconsider their position on the development or face the consequences.
He said that there was the need for decent working conditions, fair and adequate compensation as well as benefits for all categories of members of the union.
The union leader said the legitimate right of workers to participate in union activities should be respected.
He also called for collective bargaining and other lawful engagements in resolving issues with social partners.
Ogun said that the union had been able to ensure a gazette of guidelines for contract employment in the oil and gas industry in the country.
According to him, the feat was actualised in collaboration with National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and other stakeholders in the sector and with the assistance of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity.
Ogun called on the Federal Government to provide an environment that would enable the union to perform its statutory functions of reconciliation and monitoring compliance of labour laws and agreements.
He re-iterated the need for government to jettison any plans to sell the four state owned refineries across the country, after several attempts to carry out a turnaround maintenance failed.
He said: “We have engaged government on this issue and we shall not fold our hands and watch government do anything contrary.
“We earnestly yearn for stronger commitment and push to improve and increase local refining, with specific date to end importation of petroleum products and gas flaring.”
Ogun said that grey areas had been noted in the Petroleum Industry Bill by various stakeholders and the union had advised government to harmonise the issues so as to quicken its passage.
He also emphasised the need for the constitution of a new board for the Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency, two years after its dissolution by the Federal Government.
Ogun, whose tenure comes to an end later in the month, said arrangement has been concluded to host a Delegates Conference of the union in Abuja from June 24 and June 25.
He said that the theme of the conference is: “Repositioning the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry; Possibilities and Realities.”
President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to declare it open.