Chevron Nigeria has set out plans to cut 25% of its staff in response to oil price weakness.
The local unit of the US super major was reported as setting out the move on October 2 by the local press. The number of jobs at risk is thought to be around 1,000.
Unions have warned of potential industrial action targeting Chevron Nigeria in response.
Chevron Nigeria’s manager of public affairs Esimaje Brikinn was reported as saying that the company was working to make the business “competitive and have an appropriately sized organisation with improved processes. This will increase efficiency and effectiveness, retain value, reduce cost, and generate more revenue for the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The company will hold consultations on how to carry out the retrenchment.
Some suggestions from local labour complained that Chevron Nigeria was planning to shift to US labour. The company has denied this.
Brikinn continued to say that Chevron Nigeria was working with its joint venture partners, Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
“At [Chevron Nigeria], the welfare and safety of our workforce is one of our highest priorities. Making changes to the organisation is never easy for anyone that will be impacted, but it is necessary to improve our ability to remain competitive in Nigeria.”
The chairman of Chevron branch of labour union Pengassan Ete Oyegbanren said in a statement that 2,000 workers had been “constructively dismissed” and asked to reapply.
Pengassan has asked the Nigerian government to order Chevron Nigeria to comply with local laws and regulations in the industry.
Nupeng and Pengassan issued a statement asking the government to call the company to order. “Otherwise we can no longer guarantee industrial peace in the oil and gas sector.” Sacking workers, the unions said, was the “imperialist agenda”.