Protesting ‘Contract Staff’ Halt Warri Refinery Over 12-month Salaries Not Paid

Efforts to revive capacities of local refineries in the country to boost
supply of petroleum products may suffer a setback as protesting
contract staff on Wednesday halted repair work at the Nigerian National
Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)-owned Warri Refining and Petrochemical
Company (WRPC).

The workers numbering several hundreds decided to shutdown the 38-year
old Warri Refinery to protest the failure of the refinery’s authorities
to pay them salaries owed them for about twelve months.

Some of the workers reportedly last received their salaries in October
2014 while some lucky ones were said to have last received theirs in
January this year.

Most of the protesters are non-permanent staff or so-called contract
staff made up mainly of retired staff regarded as experienced and
capable technical  hands that are invaluable in matters of turnaround
maintenance of the refinery.

THISDAY learnt that as early as 6am the placard-carrying protesters had
converged at the gates of WRPC gates, defying the heavy security as
they promptly began the day’s “business” of disrupting the company’s
activities, particularly repair work at the plant at Ekpan in Uvwie
Local Government Area of Delta State.

The protest, which halted vehicles going or out of the company’s
premises, led to a gridlock that practically paralysed commercial
activities in the area as far as the NPA (Nigerian Ports Authority)
Expressway Warri.

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