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, which offers drilling services to Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron in Africa’s top oil producer, was not immediately available to comment. The U.S. oil services company said in February that it expected to potentially cut more than 6,000 jobs across the globe because of a “challenging market environment” resulting from low oil prices.
Halliburton expected to let go 6.5 percent to 8 percent of its 80,000-strong workforce, amounting to between 5,200 and 6,400 jobs in a growing list of major oil industry companies laying off workers because of a worldwide glut of crude oil.
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.