A Niger Delta group, Kombot-Egbema & Gbaramatu Graduates Association, has threatened to shutdown the operations of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) over what it tagged as alleged use of cheap labour.
In a statement issued on Monday and signed by Yabrade Moses, its president, the group gave the company 48 hours to upgrade the status of its members from trainee to “permanent staff” or risk having its operations in the region shut down.
According to Moses, some of its members had been retained as trainees for four years, which it added was a plot by Chevron to continue using cheap labour.
“We undersigned for and on behalf of Kombot-Egbema & Gbaramatu Graduates Association wish to emphatically state that Chevron Nigeria Limited should within 48 hours confirm the VTP5/OTP2, VTP6 operator/maintenance trainees of Chevron Nigeria Limited as permanent staff or face a mass action that might cripple their operations in Egbema and Gbaramatu kingdom which are host to CNL. The trainees are since overdue for conversion to permanent staff basis after 18 months, rather they are still being retained as trainees on the job as a means of cheap labour, for the past four years, which is totally unacceptable to us,” the statement read.
“The trainees should be regularised as soon as possible to avoid the inevitable danger awaiting Chevron Nigeria Limited due the company’s management nonchalant attitudes towards the reclassification of the trainees as staff, the non-intake of the 2014 awaiting batch and other crucial employment issues.
It is on record that series of letters have been written and meetings held with CNL, government representatives and security agents as regards the conversion of VTP5/OTP2 trainees and other employment issues but CNL kept mute and has instead converted those trainees termed “national” from Agbami field to permanent staff long ago leaving our indigenes on “community” angle as slave labourers.
“On this note, we are embarking on a mass action against CNL in solidarity with our brothers that are been used as cheap labour any moment from now. Except their conversion to permanent staff is confirmed and our employment deficiency addressed within 48 hours as to avert the impending action. The issue of contract extension should not be mentioned again, if CNL wants to maintain peace in their host communities of operation”, it added.