The Chairman, NUPENG, South-West, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, told our correspondent that the members working at the lubricant section of Total had been protesting the move by the company to amend their yearly renewable contracts.
He said those workers had been in Total’s employment for over seven years, adding, “Suddenly, last month, they just changed their yearly renewable contract to a three-month contract. They now said no more yearly renewable contract, and our members will have to apply afresh. We saw this as a ploy to kill unionisation in Total.
“We tried to intervene and asked them to reverse that move. They refused totally, and over 70 workers’ jobs in Lagos alone are on the line; it is not limited to Lagos alone, but extended to Warri and Kaduna. That is why our members in those locations have been protesting for the past five days, and Total failed to resolve the issue amicably.”
Korodo said the leadership of the union had to intervene and ordered all the company’s loading activities across the country to be suspended.
He said, “We shut their loading locations down today, and this prompted a tripartite meeting initiated by Total held by 12 noon at Victoria Island, Lagos. We were able to resolve all the issues we had with them and a communiqué was signed. The existence of the union has to stay and the contract of three months has been cancelled. All parties agreed to these.
“If we allow Total to commence that, it will be a bad precedent in the oil and gas industry; other international oil companies will emulate them. So, we can’t allow it. Normalcy has been returned to Total’s stations nationwide. We opened the depots this evening.”