Refinery workers protest against maltreatment, urges Tinubu to intervene

By Chuks Peter, DELTA |

Workers of Warri Refining and Petrochemicals Company (WRPC), in Delta State on Wednesday called on President Ahmed Bola Tinubu to what they described as injustice, and workplace slavery by the management of the company.

The workers said this on Wednesday morning in a peaceful protest at the Premises of the company, calling on President Bola Tinubu to stop the workplace slavery and injustice given to the support staff by the management of the company.

The support staff also called on the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC), Mele Kyari to help look into their plight.

Speaking with newsmen on Wednesday, the lead representative of the support staff at WRPC, Reverend Dafe Ighomitedo, said, “We are protesting against workplaces slavery, poor earnings, injustice, the perceived failure of management, deprivation and short-changing, in respect to the Quick-Fix project which we have seen to ninety-five per cent (95%) completion.

“We have been on this issue of salary increase since 2015. We have a document to show. In 2019 this issue went to the House of Assembly. All stakeholders were interviewed and there were promises, promises of improved salary structure.

“As we speak, management can not tender any document to show that there has been an increase in salary since 2019 after leaving the House of Assembly. We decided to run this plant for the stage of aprioristic.

“We were the ones running the Warri refinery to ensure that the WRPC is set for operation. We ensure that we are peaceful, and we have been peaceful, the job has been going on peacefully and smoothly, but so sad, we are here to mourn what is going on, which we have said enough of staff slavery.

“We have been here receiving meagre salaries to runs the plant to this point, now it’s time to start up the plant, suddenly they came and brought in retirees. Those who are 70 years and above are to receive one million naira in a month. While the salary of us here who have experienced thousand nairas.

“Nobody among us here has less than 10 years of experience. Some are below a hundred thousand naira, but we just say the average is N100,000.

“We were told to be patient and allow the project to get to the stage of near completion that we will get everything we want together. And we are getting closer, we have work 95℅, and we are the ones that put it up to this stage.

“We want to run it. We want this plant to run, we want this nation to be proud that this plant is running. But the painful thing here is that we have to fix billions of naira to the facility without thinking of putting anything into those that will run the facility.

“How can you spend billions in putting the facility in order without thinking of the people that will run the facility.

“You just brought your retirees who have gotten their gratuity, they have gotten their pensions and they don’t have the energy anymore but though with experience.

“But we are energetic people full of experience and you say what is due to us is an average of a hundred thousand naira?. We say this is injustice, workplace slavery and we are saying no to it.

“None of us here have access to medical services. We are working in a hazardous environment, a hazardous plant but we don’t have access to medical Facilities.

“We don’t have hazard allowance, we don’t have transport allowance and you know what is the cost of fuel in this country today, you can see them in our points.

“So we are calling on well-meaning Nigerians who are tired of seeing their children or their people suffering to come to our rescue.

“Respect to the ongoing quick peace projects that the nation is expecting us to come up soon which we are very optimistic that it will come up soon that is why we are here but some things are not right.

“We have been deprived of what is due to us and we decided to cry out that is why we are here today the third day of the morning protesting.

“This is day three of the morning protest, we don’t know how far it will go, we are seeking intervention from the appropriate quarters as far as the GCEO and the EVP gas stream to come to our rescue. We are receiving virtually peanut as salary.

“Should they fail to hear our cry, our next line of action is, ‘continue to cry’, we will keep pushing on till the day they will hear us. We are very objective and we are very purposeful.

“You can see we are very peaceful, we allow people to go in, and work is going on. But the workers that are being enslaved we have to pull out, ‘we say No’. ‘This is injustice.”

About Olakunle Oyedunmola

A Veteran Journalist | Scriptwriter | Clergy | Photography | Videography | Business Man | An Actor at Medram Network International | A Contractor | Motivational Speaker | A Scout and currently The Chief Correspondent at National Telescope Newspapers,Kwara State Nigeria.

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