Oil workers protest at Aiteo’s OML 29 in Bayelsa

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Surveillance workers in Opu-Nembe in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, on Tuesday, staged a protest at OML 29 operated by Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company.
Shell Petroleum Development Company had in September 2015 divested from OML 29 located at Odema Creek and  Santa Babara flow station.
It was gathered that the workers were aggrieved over the company’s  refusal to pay them their outstanding salaries.
The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as  “Aiteo, stop your divide and rule tactics among your host community’, and “Aiteo, you promised to be better than Shell.’’
Other inscriptions included  ” Aiteo, community contractors need fairer deals, give us our due.”
Leading  the protesters who numbered over 100, their spokesperson,  Nicholas Ebiye,  challenged the company to meet its contractual obligations to enable the workers get their remunerations promptly.
Ebiye   asked the company to review upward  the contract value  of their employers to enable their pay to be at par with newly employed surveillance workers.
The protesters also demanded  that Aiteo provide speedboats  for free mobility as well as the provision of  safety protection equipment.
They also demanded payment of bonus at the end of every six months and arrears owned them since 2015 when Shell divested and assigned the facility to the company.
The protesters further asked  Aiteo to make prompt payment of their monthly emoluments at the end of every month.
They gave the company  two weeks within which to comply to avoid breach of industrial harmony.
The group regretted Aiteo’s inability to meet its responsibilities since inception over two year ago.
The oil company, the group alleged,  had refused to pay over N300 million it owned its host community, Opu-Nembe,  over hiring of the community’s speedboats,  MV Ogbodo 1 and 2.
Responding, the Acting Operational Supervisor at the field,  Mr Umezurike Oyinbuchi , assured the protesters that he would channel their grievances to the management of the company for dialogue with their representatives.
The Director of Security Services at Odema Flow station,Mr Girgi Vershima , told the protesters that surveillance workers from Odioma community had shut down the flow station and urged them to embrace dialogue.

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