Alleged abandoned employees of Nigeria Agip Oil Company under contract staff of Council Guwor Nig. Ltd and Gorebor Nig.Ltd of Obuguru community of Forcados Terminal, Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State have stormed NAOC’s company yard in Beniboye flow station for protest over what they described as non-payment of their monthly stipends for about 10 months.
The protesting angry staff, speaking through Mr Alokpa Zacchaeus, said they have been abandoned without salary for 10th months.
The protesting workers explained that they were asked to go home last year due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic, and since then the company refused to call them back and declined salary payment till date.
The abandoned staff in a letter written to the commissioner of Oil and Gas, Delta State, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba, stated that they have worked with NAOC as EQC API skimmers, Environmental cleaners , Security guard and Motor drivers as contract staff for the past 20 years.
Congress Community Focus gathered that the protesting staff barricaded the entrance points of the company’s yard, and major roads in the community.
The protest which began on Monday, has entered the fifth day. The aggrieved staff insisted that they would not leave the company’s premises till their demands are attended to.
The letter reads: “We wish to inform you that the under listed workers (names withheld) are employees of council Guwor Nig. Ltd and Gorebor Nig. Company, under Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Delta State.
The protesters reiterated: “We have been there working come rain and come sun, day in and day out before the Covid-19 pandemic where the company asked some of us to stay at home and promised that our salaries will be paid at when due, according to the station Supervisor but for the past ten months we have not been paid.
“Again, as contract staff, we are the least paid workers in the flow station with about fifty (50) to fifty five(55) thousand naira monthly. We have been working in the company without any form of benefit such as rental, medical leave or bonus etc.
“While other contract staff working in the same station are receiving increment, benefit/ allowances above all, they are well paid. As a result of these non-payment, we lost one of our worker, Mr Eric Ari last month through a brief illness. He died because there was no money for treatment. He was a motor driver,” they narrated.
“In addition, concerning workers welfare, we have lost over three workers in official duty but no compensation paid to the families.
“Please sir, we are asking for a contract review which will include our benefit / allowances in medical, rental, leave bonus, end of year bonus and our salaries to come at when due.
“We, however call on your good office to prevail on NAOC and the sub-contractors to pay our outstanding salaries. We are dying, we can’t feed, pay our children school fees and our rents. As we all know fifty (50) thousand naira in this present economy can’t afford anything, yet they will not still pay. It is truly bad and disgusting.”
When contacted, High Chief Council Guwor, the Director of Council Guwor Nig. Ltd, he denied knowledge on any protest by his staff.
According to Guwor, “I’ m not aware of any protest by my workers. They haven’t been paid because the contract in which they were employed has expired or terminated.
“I try to pay one month some time thinking the contract will be renewed but it wasn’t re-awarded so my money got lost. They should be patient, when the contract is renewed they will be paid”, reacted.
However, efforts to contact NAOC and Gorebor Nig.Ltd for comment failed as calls were not going through.