Two labour unions in the oil and gas sector, the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have directed their members in Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) to commence a total shut down of the company’s operations.

The strike directive followed the sack of 600 Nigerian employees and what they said were other anti-labour practices by the management of the company.

NUPENG’S President, Williams Akporeha, and the President of PENGASSAN, Festus Osifo, in a joint statement, said:

“We have directed our members in Chevron to withdraw their services. We also call on the Federal Government to call Chevron Management to order, otherwise we can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the oil and gas sector.

Here is our fatherland and we have a labour law that regulates the activities of organisations in Nigeria; this law cannot be breached; We must follow the process.”

The union leaders alleged that Chevron management on Independence Day, notified about 2,000 of its employees that their services were no longer required. Both leaders also alleged that the Chevron management had asked those employees who were still interested in working with them to apply afresh.

“This development runs contrary to Nigeria’s laws regulating the Oil and Gas industry as it does not protect our national interest. This is an imperialist agenda that must not be allowed to stay, most especially as we have just finished celebrating our 60th independence as a sovereign country,” the statement said.