SACKED WORKERS GET BENEFITS AS FIRM, NUPENG SETTLE DISPUTE

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AN indigenous firm, Valiant Energy Services West Africa Limited, said the lingering dispute with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers over the sacking of 39 oil workers has been amicably resolved, with the affected staff getting their entitlements.

Commercial Manager of the offshore oil drilling company, Yele Fafowora, made this disclosure in a statement made available to journalist on Tuesday.

Fafowora explained that the action of the company in 2020, which sparked the row with NUPENG was due to global downturn in the oil industry as series of lockdowns by countries were implemented to stem the COVID-19 pandemic.

The statement, however, indicated that after series of deliberations with NUPENG, an agreement was reached on October 16, 2020 between Valiant and NUPENG over the terminal benefits that would be payable to the affected workers.

The statement said, “To this end, Valiant as a responsible corporate organisation, met all obligations of the agreement and paid in full all outstanding severance benefits due to the NUPENG members.

 “In spite of this, NUPENG at the time, still expressed dissatisfaction with Valiant on matters outside the provisions of the agreement, which had been fully met by Valiant.

“So, rather than acknowledge the resolution of all matters with the payment of all outstanding monies, the impasse between both companies lingered.

“With the continued impasse, a virtual reconciliation meeting brokered by the Department of Petroleum Resources was held on January 19, 2021.

“At the meeting, all the grievances were heard by all parties and were amicably resolved. NUPENG further acknowledged receipt, in full, of all outstanding severance benefits from Valiant due to its members, the disengaged workers.‌

 “The management of Valiant and NUPENG both agreed that the whole matter was regrettable but there was a collective resolve to work together in peace and harmony.”

It added that Williams Akporeha, who represented NUPENG, agreed that social dialogue remained the best path to dispute resolution and looked forward to a smooth working relationship between the labour advocacy group and the company in future.

Fafowora restated the company’s commitment to the welfare of its workforce, which he said, was a practice enshrined in the corporate culture of the firm.

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