Oil, Gas Workers To Begin Indefinite Strike January

Oil and gas workers under the auspices of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said they will embark on a 3-day warning strike nationwide in January as a result of unresolved labour issues with multinationals operating in the industry.

According to the workers, this decision to embark on the strike which may commence in the first week of January 2017 was taken at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union held recently in Port Harcourt.

NUPENG said that the 3-day warning strike is preparatory to a nation-wide strike if there is no intervention by the Federal Government.

President of the union, Comrade Igwe Achese, told Bizwatchnigeria.ng that the union will in January communicate to all its members to start wearing red bands to work from next week, while the members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers have been instructed also to put green leaves on their tankers as a protest preparatory for the commencement of the 3-day warning strike next month.

The NUPENG president said it will resist any divestment by the multinationals oil and gas companies that does not carry the union along, especially in OML 53 and 55 operated by Chevron and now OML 30.

Achese said that the union believes that whatever goodwill government has to encourage investors to come should not lead to job losses, but job creation.

“The unresolved labour related issues which made the Union to issue a 21-day ultimatum for the Federal Government’s intervention include the non-payment of terminal benefits to 48 contract staff and 250 contract staff terminated in Lagos and Port Harcourt by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).

The others are the refusal of Exxon Mobil Producing to reinstate over 200 NUPENG Members sacked through its directives to her labour contractors despite ultimatum jointly issued by NUPENGASSAN.

The Chevron issue includes the total closure of the Company’s Eastern operations through divestment and refusal to discuss the redundancy terms and its refusal to facilitate the formation of Chevron labour Contractors Forum to interface with NUPENG”, Achese explained.

He added that Chevron’s refusal to allow workers to unionize is also causing industrial relations tension, noting the other issues include Tecon Oil Services Management reneging on the communiqué signed with the union on offloading the severance benefits of its members working in the companies.

The other unresolved labour issues, the oil and gas workers added, involves Pan Ocean non-implementation of annual salary increase for NUPENG Members in the company from 2014 till date.

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