PENGASSAN pickets General Electric, disrupts operations

General Electric (GE)

General Electric was on Wednesday picketed by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, over non-payment of salaries to some workers.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that workers affected are those of ARCO Group, General Electric’s servicing company.

The PENGASSAN members blocked the entrance to General Electric office on Victoria Island, Lagos, from 6 a.m.

The protesters, according to the News Agency of Nigeria, also carried placard with inscriptions such as “Work without pay is a crime’’, “Our wage is our right,’’ “GE respect contractual agreement,’’ “GE return our dignity of labour’’, among others.

Abel Agarin, PENGASSAN Lagos Zonal Chairman who led the protesters, said that General Electric failed to properly settle the workers in 2016, adding that PENGASSAN decided to picket the company because it failed to honour an agreement it reached with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, on the payment of the workers.

He said other efforts to make the electricity company to address the issue failed.

“The job was carried out from 2006 in Niger Delta. It is global gas maintenance in OBOB/Kwale/CHA,’’ he said.

“The electricity company owed about 50 workers for about one year and later paid some months.

“The remaining five months’ salaries are what we are demanding,’’ Mr. Agarin explained.

The PENGASSAN boss said that General Electric met with Ngige and agreed to pay the money in February, 2017, after ARCO would have demobilised the workers and provided certain information.

“ARCO demobilised and provided procurement invoice that got matured in 30 days.

“All the necessary information have been provided but, till date, General Electric failed to respond to calls or appeals by ARCO management to pay the workers,’’ he said, adding that the union would continue with the protest until the payment of the salaries.

The management of the electricity company did not come out to address the protesters but one Aboyomi Oyewumi, who developed the property where General Electric rented for its office, appealed to the union to be peaceful.

Mr. Oyewumi promised to get in touch with the management and ensure it resolves the issue to forestall further disruption of business activities.

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