United States oil firm, ExxonMobil Corporation, will pay up to N350 million naira to some of their sacked employees.
The severance package is part of a legal requirement said to be paid to some of their sacked Nigerian employees.
6% of the workforce affected by the firm’s recent downsizing will also receive a legal severance package of about N140 million.
The workers had been protesting their sack for days in a row.
Following this, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu invited the protesting oil workers.
The staff had protested under the aegis of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN).
The aggrieved oil workers had shut down the company’s corporate head office in Lagos indefinitely.
They had protested Mobil’s violation of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act.
The claimed ExxonMobil had opted to employ expatriates to take over jobs for which there is local capacity.
The workers had also insisted that the Managing Director of the company, Mr. Nolan O’Neal, be relieved of his duties.
A top official of ExxonMobil said revenue is down by almost three quarter.
“Some of the resultant effects on the business have included scaled down operations, reduced personnel, uplift project deferments, and contract renegotiations.
“Against this backdrop, any responsible company would take steps to ensure survival,” he said.
“The severance payments driven by years of service are in some cases up to N350 million for an employee.
“For the total population affected, average payment per person hovers around N140 million,” he explained.
On the allegations of non-compliance with the extant laws and agreements, the official argued against the protesters.
“Whenever redundancy actions are contemplated, the company shall inform the association of the intended action.
“The association may bring to the company’s attention any problems that it believes are involved”.
The official revealed that the union disagreed with the company’s notification.
He, however, stated that they also abandoned the provisions of the CBA.
The CBA specifically states that “if a dispute arises during the subsistence of the agreement, either party shall comply with the current law governing Trade Disputes in Nigeria and neither party shall resort to arbitrary strike action or lockout”.