Staff of Niger Delta Westerner/NPDC under the auspices of OML 34 Host Community Workers Forum, Ughelli Flow Station on Monday, August 28/08/17 embarked on peaceful protest to draw the attention of relevant authorities to the unwarranted hardship and what they described as wicked marginalization on them by management of the company accused of owing their nine months salaries.

The workers who came out in their hundreds as early as 7am on Monday barricade entrance of the Flow Station and withheld the daily report of production of the company to register their grievances, they accused management of denying them their rights.

The protesting worker bore various placards with different inscriptions such as: “We are tired of this marginalization of ND-Western/NPDC to communities’ workers in OML 34,” ” President Buhari deliver us from modern slavery,” “OML 34 Management don’t eliminate host communities workers”, ” Ogunmola must go”among others.

Speaking during the protest inside the premises of the company,  Com. Ogheneochuko Uloho, chairman of the workers forum berated management of the company for treating them as second class citizens and”slaves” in their own land, he disclosed that they would down tools if urgent action is not taken to address their grievances some of which to confirm them as staff and to sack Mr. Ogunmola, Deputy Operational Manager of the company.

Com. Uloho recalled with dismay how the company sent them for several trainings with promises to make them staff of the company to replace the retired staff of the company, adding that but to their surprise, four years after completion of their training, the retirees used their own children and relatives to fill the vacant positions meant for them making them to be perpetual causal workers after putting several years into the service.

He further disclosed that the staff were denied appointment letters, identity cards, access to medical services, safety tools and useful tools for the work.

Also speaking, Com. Kingsley Duku, Secretary of the Workers Forum disclosed that several meetings were held in the past with the management of the company to resolve the lingering issues of marginalization and others adding that the manager keeps promising them without fulfillment as they further resorted to using security operatives to intimidate them(workers) with two of them arrested.

According to Com. Duku, “we had written to all relevant authorities on this issue of marginalization even the National Assembly, the then Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof Amos Utuama cautioned the management of the company of the implication of their action but all to no avail, now we will take our destinies in our hands. We voted for a change, the change must begin with the management of the company, contractors of the company and staff of the company”.

While threatening to shut down production activities at the flow station both in Ughelli Flow Station and Utorogu Gas Station, the biggest in West Africa indefinitely in the next forty-eight hours if their plights are not attended to, the Forum called on President Muhammadu Buhari, Senate Committee on Oil Gas and Senator Ovie OMO-Agege, Senator representing Delta Central Senatorial District in the Senate to speedily intervene on the matter or else plunge the nation into avoidable monumental loss with indefinite strike action and blockade of the company.