Staff of Niger Delta Westerner/NPDC under the auspice of OML 34 Host Community Workers Forum of Ughelli Flow Station, Delta state on Monday protested over non payment of nine months salaries, denial of rights and what they called highhandedness, unwarranted hardship, wickedness and marginalization been melted on them by the company.
HardReporters gathered that the workers in their hundreds as early as 7:00am have barricaded the entrance to the flow station
to register their grievances, thereby withholding the daily report of production of the company.
The placard carrying protesters with various inscriptions, “We are tired of this marginalization of ND-Western/NPDC to communities, “workers in OML 34, President Buhari deliver us from modern slavery, “OML 34 Management don’t eliminate host communities workers, Ogunmola must go.” vowed to continue the protest until their demands are met and called for the immediate sack of Mr. Ogumola, deputy operational manager of the company.
Addressing Journalists at the company’s yard during the protest, the chairman of the Forum, Mr. Uloho Ochuko berated the management of the oil firm for treating them as second class citizens in their own land.
Uloho recalled with dismay how the company sent them for training upon training with promises to make full them staff of the company to replace the retired staff but to their surprise four years after the completion of their training, the retirees used their own children and relatives to fill the position meant for them therefore making them to be perpetual causal workers after putting several years into the service.
He disclosed further that the staff were denied appointment letters, identity cards, access to medical, safety tools and useful tools for the work.
Also speaking, the Secretary of the Forum, Mr. Kingsley Duku disclosed that several meetings were held in the past with the management of the company to resolve the issue of marginalization that has bedeviled the staff, but the manager kept on promising without fulfillment at the end security operatives were been used to intimidate them, leading to the arrest of two workers.
“We had written all relevant authorities on this issue of marginalization even the National Assembly, the then Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof Amos Utuama cautioned the management of the company and the implication of their action but all to no avail, now we will want to take our destinies into our own hands. We voted for a change, the change must begin with the management of the company, contractors to the company and staff of the company”.
While threatening to shut down production activities at the flow station both at Ughelli Flow Station and Utorogu Gas Station indefinitely within forty-eight hours should their plights are not attended to, the Forum called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate Committee on Oil Gas and member representing Urhobo nationality at the red chamber, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege to speedily intervene on the matter.