Nigeria’s main oil union has shut down the local operations of U.S. oilfield services provider Halliburton Co in protest against job cuts, the trade body said on Tuesday.
Tokunbo Korodo, Lagos chairman for the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), told Reuters the group halted operations on Monday saying it was opposed to Halliburton’s decision to sack 46 local staff members.
The union accused Halliburton of not following due process.
Halliburton’s staff cuts in Nigeria are part of a company-wide jobs cull announced earlier this year to counter a sharp downturn in global oil prices since last summer that has shrunk profits.
In April, the company, which provides drilling services to Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Chevron Corp in Africa’s top oil producer, said it had cut 9,000 jobs, or about 10 percent of the global workforce, and that more were planned.
“Halliburton is in conversations with the union to resolve the pending issues,” a company spokeswoman said via email. “We will continue to monitor the business environment and will make additional adjustments…as needed,” she said.
She declined to comment on how many jobs had been cut or what operations were impacted.
The shutdown was confirmed by another oil industry trade union – Petroleum and Natural Gas Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) – which said the U.S. company sacked trade union executives in an attempt to weaken the bodies representing workers’ rights, Emmanuel Ojugbana spokesman for PENGASSAN said.