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Anti union practices at Petrobras Nigeria

22 May, 2013Petrobras has improperly used the redundancy clause of the collective bargaining agreement with Pengassan to terminate all ten workers in its exploration division and is refusing to engage the union to resolve the matter.

Nigerian affiliate, Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (Pengassan), has brought the unfair labour actions by management of Petrobras in Nigeria to the attention of IndustriALL Global Union. These actions are in breach of the labour laws in Nigeria and against the fundamental principles of the global framework agreement that IndustriALL has with the multinational.

The redundancy clause in the bargaining agreement would only apply in the case of excess manpower in a division but as Petrobras has shut down the whole division, these ten workers are entitled to severance packages negotiated with Pengassan. However Petrobras Nigeria terminated all further negotiation with Pengassan on the matter and served the trade union with notice of its intention to take the matter to court.

The termination of employment of all ten workers in the exploration division is evidence to vindicate allegations that Petrobras is divesting from Nigeria, raising concerns for Pengassan and IndustriALL  that there may be further labour rights violations for the remaining workers currently employed by the company.

In a letter to the CEO of Petrobras, General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union, Jyrki Raina said,

We strongly urge Petrobras to cease all legal action and return to negotiations with the union on severance packages for these workers. We also insist that any further terminations by Petrobras in Nigeria be negotiated with the Pengassan.

Raina has also warned,

We would consider actions to the contrary to be against the spirit and content of the global agreement which would put strain on our relations at an international level and require us to mobilize solidarity support from for our affiliates that organize your plants elsewhere in the world.