The entire work force of OML 42, comprising Jones Creek, Egwa 1, Odidi and Batan Flow Stations operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and NECONDE Joint Venture in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State have challenged the JIV to immediately pay their outstanding salaries and arrears. The Work Force rejected the arrangement of the NPDC/NECONDE Joint Venture to keep them in an houseboat for another 14 weeks. According to a source who hinted The Liberator Newspaper on behalf of the Work Force in OML 42 but would not want his name to be mentioned in print noted that the facility might soon be witnessing auto operation or total shut down as a means of pressing for their welfare. The source explained that the normal tradition prior to now is for every crew to work two weeks, adding that as of today, the 29th of April 2020, the workers have been working on the facility for 43 days. He noted that the past 43 days has been hell for them without payment of their salaries and arrears, stressing that inadequate and irregular feeding pattern has become the order of the day as they are gradually dying of hunger and starvation.
The Work Force particularly described the type of treatment given to them as a master servant relationship, maintaining that they can’t continue in such manner. They insists that the said house boat the JIV is said to be planning to move the workers to has been allegedly abandoned for long. However, in an email forwarded to workers of the NPDC/NECONDE, says the workers should prepare for the house boat as the directive will be effective on April 30th 2020. The email reads in full below: Dear all, Following DPR’s guidelines for crew changes to manage the COVID-19 Pandemic, the AMT management has approved a strategy for the commencement of the crew changes as follows;P.O.B: 126, Methodology: one person per room Accommodation: Usage of Jones Creek Houseboat Victory-1 with a 32-room accommodation
Staggered crew changes that is completed in 8 weeks’ time25% of the crew will each stay on site for 14 weeks, 12weeks, 10 weeks & 8 weeks respectivelyArrangements will be made for sanitizers and fumigation of the Victory 1 houseboat after each use Arrangements also for Extra food + dry ration for 126 persons) 32 persons for each batch Commencement date: Thursday, 30th April, 2020.The attached should be used by the various manpower companies copied here to nominate a quarter of their staff for each crew change batch till the whole crew change has been completed successfullyKindly assist to make this worthwilel Thank you Best Regards As Always….? In their reaction to the email, the Work Force noted that to quarantine OML 42 workers at the alleged abandoned house boat, VICTORY 1 in Jones Creek, Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State poses great risk to communities in the area, adding that it is inhuman to prevent them from seeing their families. They alleged that every other Oil facilities have done their crew change, stressing that OML 40, 30, 34 operated by Chevron and NPDC JIV have since done their crew changes with workers being quarantined in hotels for two weeks. It would be recalled that the Odidi flow station in OML 42 was shut down by the workers on the 17th of April 2020 as a protest for the non payment of salaries and other entitlements. The Liberator Newspaper can report that the station was later opened after the swift intervention of stakeholders, but the workers are still insisting for another lockdown as their salaries and other entitlements have not been paid. Meanwhile, the Work Force has called on the Federal Government, State Government, PENGASSAN, NLC, NUPENG, Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas as well as other relevant agencies to wade into the matter before it degenerates into something else.