Official activities have been disrupted at the operational base of the Seplat Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Sapele, Delta State following a protest by workers against what they called ‘casualisation of workers and unpaid bonuses’.
The contract workers of the company, numbering over 50 from different stations in Delta and Edo states, on Wednesday besieged the company’s base in Sapele to demand the stoppage of casualisation and payment of their bonuses.
The fire and safety contract workers from Ugborhen, Amukpe, and other stations have laid siege to the company’s base for the past three days, demanding an end to casualisation of workers as well as payment of their COVID-19 allowances, among others.
The aggrieved workers displayed placards with inscriptions such as “Seplat, pay us our COVID-19 allowances, “Community is not a curse, “We are tired of your marginalisation and casualisation, “Seplat, we are tired of your wickedness and community no be disadvantage na advantage.”
According to them, in the 10 years they have served the company as casual workers, they have only been treated with disdain.
The protest, which started on Monday, our correspondent reliably gathered, may not come to an end until the demands of the aggrieved contract workers are met.
Speaking with SaharaReporters, one of the protesting workers who simply identified himself as Austin, lamented that in 2012 when they were employed, “We were told that after six months, we will be confirmed as staff, and during the induction, they told us that we were outfield workers and we will be paid accordingly, up till this moment we have not been paid.”
Meanwhile, a letter sighted by our correspondent, and signed by the company’s Director/Executive Director, Operations, Effiong Okon, disclosed that the challenges being faced by the company since the project started in 2019, had to do with integrity of data across Seplat for contract staff.
It said the teams encountered errors and that corrections had been made.
“Seplat is a listening and caring company so we welcome everybody’s complaints in a manner that allows the issues to be investigated and where gaps or errors are found, they will be addressed like we have done in the past. If you suspect fraud please, use the whistle-blowing process and hotlines.”
As at the time of filing in this report, the protesting workers are still occupying the company’s premises with the entrance gate blocked.
SaharaReporters, New York