Oil workers under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have disrupted business activities at the headquarters of General Electric over non settlement of exit benefits of their ex-staff four years after disengagement from service.
The main entrance to the Victoria Island office of the company located at Bishop Aboyade Cole was blocked by protesting NUPENGASSAN members who are simply demanding for the protection of their rights after long period of failed promises of their former employer.
The affected workers expressed displeasure over flagrant refusal of Arco Group, an employment contractor to General Electric to pay their severance packages that is long overdue.
Reacting to the legitimate protest on behalf of the workers, Head of Lagos Zone of NUPENG, Comrade Lanre Badmus said Nigerians cannot continue to be treated with disdain or contempt and that the rights of workers cannot continue to be abused without grief consequences such as this.
“The protesting workers are only asking for their severance benefits. Meanwhile on this same matter, the Ministry of Labour and Employment had intervened on it for three different occasions, and an MOU was even signed by both parties and other concerned parties.
Meanwhile, General Electric and its recruiting firm, Arco Group agreed to pay the workers their benefits within 7 days in December 2019.
Part of the resolution was that General Electric claimed it needed to reconcile excess withholding tax deductions of the affected staff from FIRS, giving assurances that as soon as that is done payment would commence.
When further contacted on why the payment hasn’t commenced in early 2020 Arco Group in connivance with its principal claimed that deductions are yet to be remitted to them from FIRS.
NUPENG went further to confirm but realised FIRS had done the needful and shocked why General Electric has refused to honour its word.” Comrade Badmus stressed.
The Lagos Zonal office of PENGASSAN is driving the Association with the presence of the National Treasure Comrade Victor Ononopono and the Lagos Zonal Chairman leading.