NUPENG FG moves to avert oil workers’ strike

The FG has made a move following the announcement by NUPENG to begin a three-day warning strike from January 11, 2017.

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The Federal Government is to resolve the dispute between workers in the petroleum sector and some oil companies operating in the country, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

Mr Joseph Ogbebor, General Secretary, Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) gave this hint in an interview with NAN on Thursday in Lagos.

NAN gathered that the government moves followed the announcement by NUPENG to begin a three-day warning strike from January 11.

The workers are going on strike to protest the alleged violation of the country’s extant labour laws and anti-workers disposition of the oil companies.

Ogbebor said that the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has intervened in the matter, having called labour leaders to a meeting scheduled for January 11 in Abuja.

We wonder why the meeting is fixed for the same day we are to start the strike.

“What I can tell you further is that if the government does not meet our demands, we will proceed with the strike,” he said.

He warned that if the proposed strike was not averted, it would result in fuel scarcity, as Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), an arm of NUPENG, would be prevented from lifting petroleum products from depots.

Long queues are also likely to resurface at petrol filling stations across major cities, as the strike may create panic buying from anxious persons,’’ he said.

Igwe Achese, the NUPENG President, who announced the plan by the workers to go on strike, said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union took the decision in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

He said that the warning strike was preparatory to a nationwide strike, if there was no intervention by the Federal Government.

Some of the major issues alleged by the union were the total closure of the Chevron’ eastern operations through divestment; and the refusal to discuss the redundancy terms.

Others are the refusal to facilitate the formation of Chevron labour Contractors Forum to interface with NUPENG, as well as Chevron’s refusal to allow workers to unionise,which has been causing industrial relations tension.

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