Oil workers issue 14 days ultimatum to government over alleged victimisation of members

The two main unions for workers in the Nigerian oil and gas industry on Friday gave the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to intervene in the alleged victimisation of some of their colleagues by multinational oil firms or risk industrial action.

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Natural Gas, NUPENG, workers and their counterparts in Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, issued the ultimatum at the end of their joint National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Abuja.

A communique signed by N​UPENG President, Achese Igwe, and his PENGASSAN counterpart, Francis Johnson, said government should also consider other pressing issues that were affecting the smooth operation of the country’s oil and gas industry.

According to Mr. Johnson, the unions were compelled to issue the threat to withdraw their services in the oil sector to draw government’s attention to those pressing issues in the oil sector.

He identified the issues to include the irregular transfer and sacking of national officers of the two unions by Total Nigeria and ExxonMobil; continued casualisation of labour in the industry, and violation of workers’ right to unionisation at the Export Free Zone in Rivers State.

Other issued, Mr. Johnson said, were the rising incidence of crude oil pipeline vandalism and oil theft, the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, the growing state of terrorism and kidnappings in the country, non-payment of terminal benefits of workers whose appointments were terminated as well as irregular appointments inconsistent with management structure in the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The P​ENGASSAN president said the decision to issue the ultimatum to government was a last resort after exhausting all avenues to resolve the issues through dialogue.

On his part, the N​UPENG president said the unions were left with no better alternative than embarking on strike after the engagement with the group managing director of NNPC, Joseph Dawha, failed to resolve the issues.

Mr. Igwe said the unions also met with the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deziani Alison-Maduekwe, the State Security Service, and the management of the affected oil firms to no avail.

The leadership of the two unions, Mr. Achese said, had pleaded with them to reverse the sacking and transfer of the union leaders in their companies without success.

The two officials called on the leadership of the National Assembly to give accelerated hearing to the PIB to ensure its passage into law as the current law establishing the NNPC had become obsolete.

Deliberations on the proposed oil industry law has lingered for the past two years without any significant progress towards its passage.

They advised the Federal Government to treat the issue of dilapidated roads leading to most of the petroleum facilities with urgency, as the loss of lives of most of their members on those roads have become most intolerable.

Besides, the unions urged the Federal Government to provide necessary facilities to upgrade the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Effurun, Delta State, in consonance with its approved status as petroleum university in the country.

(NAN)


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  • Guguru

    This threat of strike just reminds me of how epileptic Nigeria has become.

  • naijawatchman

    Today’s unions have become projections of management. They will usually bark; and after that what happens? It has become normal for them to make noise and that is why govt takes them for granted. I would advise every employee in the industry to think of ways to amicably resolve their disputes with their various managements and forget about these business unionists who are specialists in trading off their members through lucrative redundancies.

  • Truthometer

    Is PDP not going to blame APC for this?

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  • kinsly

    Gbam! Crystal clear.

  • Nwanguma Alaezi

    Everyone in Abia even Ikpeazu knew that Alex Otti won the election. We knew the #AbiaTribunal sitting in Umuahia didn’t give him a chance at all which was very wicked of them. Thank god the appeal court has corrected whatever the lower tribunal did wrong.

    • Nicholas Stanley

      Otti failed woefully, miscarriage of judgement and information given by court of appeal was totally wrong.full of errors, hoping that the supreme court will correct all the mistakes.injustice everywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.

  • S. A. Maigari

    We all cried for change, and if God answers our prayers and gives us change – good or bad – do we really have the right to complain? The “‘Yan-chanji” got what they asked for, period.

  • truthisbitter

    Otti Won the 80% of valid votes cast in that election by Abians.