Oil workers shut down facility in Delta
ASABA – Protesting oil workers at the Nigeria Agip oil company, operators of Kwale Okpai gas plant on Tuesday, paralysed activities at the oil facility in Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta State.
The protesters, numbering over 50, who are mainly in the junior cadre alleged that they were treated harshly by the company.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that as early as 6.00a.m. on Tuesday, the workers had blocked the main entrance to the plant and prevented other workers from gaining entry into their offices.
Addressing newsmen in front of the company’s premises, Mr John Anochie, on behalf of the workers, said they were initially placed on a monthly salary of N67,000 under a condition called labour services but were shocked in July last year when the wage was slashed to a paltry N30,000 per month while the company also denied them payment of the token salary for upward of six months.
The workers said Agip also deprived them of access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), medical facilities, eating at the staff cateen as well as the non-payment of Christmas, New Year and leave bonuses, adding that the slave treatment was peculiar to Ndokwa indigenes unlike their counterparts at Irri in Isoko area of the state and Omoku in Rivers State.
They noted that indigenous marginal oilfield operators like Midwestern Oil, Pillar Oil and Platform Oil, operating in Ndokwa land pay their least paid workers more than N100,000 per month excluding allowances.
When contacted, the gas plant managers, Messrs Chidi Ibeabuchi and Erasmphs Okpebo, declined comments as they claimed they were making effort to get clearance from their Port Harcourt headquarters to speak on the matter.
Efforts made by the Nigerian Tribune to speak to the Public Affairs Manager, Prince Obi, also proved abortive.