1,650 sacked ExxonMobil workers protest, demand compensation

No fewer than 1,650 sacked ExxonMobil workers have staged a protest in the oil community of Eket over alleged non-payment of their entitlements by the American oil giant.

The aggrieved oil workers, our correspondent who visited the scene on Wednesday gathered, chanted solidarity songs amid drumming under the canopy in front of the ExxonMobil Housing Estate in Eket Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

The resort to protest, it was learnt, followed the collapse of negotiation between the affected staff and management of the company as both parties failed to reach agreement on the core issue of resolving the matter of adequate compensation for the ex-employees of the firm.

Spokesman of the group, Mr Christian Assam, explained that ExxonMobil through NETCO, one of the ExxonMobil’s subsidiaries that employed the community youths to upgrade cables at Qua Iboe Terminal (QIT) platform at Mkpanak in Iibeno Local Government Area refused to implement resolutions they reached with their employers in the state.

“We had a meeting with ExxonMobil yesterday through the invitation of Ministry of Environment and Petroleum Resources and the meeting was supposed to bring lasting resolution in favour of parties but it was inconclusive,” Assam said.

He further said “the youths worked for NETCO, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil for six years and when the contract ended, ExxonMobil refused to pay them their entitlements”, adding that “several meetings with the management were botched.”

“Let ExxonMobil, who gave the contract to NETCO give us our entitlements for the project we have executed this year,” Assam stressed.

“We were surprised that all of a sudden, ExxonMobil said they can not sit with the workers and that they haven’t concluded the processes for the entitlements of the workers in the state,” he added.

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Reacting, Mr Ogechukwu Udeagha, Manager, Media and Communications of ExxonMobil said that Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (NNPC/MPN) Joint Venture has no obligation to staff of their third party contractors.

“Please refer all further inquiries to the contractor company referenced in your inquiry and the relevant government security agencies. We remain committed to contributing to the health, safety and economy of our communities.” Udeagha said.

Also speaking, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr Odiko Macdon, a Police Superintendent, warned that the Police would not condone any form of violent protest in the state.

“No violence protest is allowed in the state, we have nothing to do with ExxonMobil, there are better channels of resolving matters rather than embarking on protest,” Macdon said.






1,650 sacked ExxonMobil workers protest, demand compensation

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