‎IPMAN crisis: Petrol station workers to down tools

Fuel-dispencerKunle Kalejaye 17 June 2014, Sweetcrude, Lagos – Petrol Station Workers, PSW, branch of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers NUPENG may down tools due to the leadership crisis currently rocking the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN

PSW said they cannot continue to watch the damage the crisis has caused on its members in the depots and filling stations across the country, who are in the chain of petroleum dispensing in the country.

The PSW also noted that the lingering crisis has affected their members adversely, as they are being treated by their IPMAN employers like slaves, due to the factionalisation in the body.

Chairman of PSW, NUPENG branch Comrade Roland Abu in statement  reiterated that because of the division and protracted crisis in IPMAN, Petrol Station Workers have not been able to negotiate conditions of service for its members.

Abu explained that their members receive pittance as salaries ranging from =N=5,000.00 to =N=8,000.00 a month by IPMAN members – owned filling stations, which is modern-day slavery.

“The Petrol Station Workers expresses disgust at the outright refusal of the IPMAN past leadership to negotiate a conditions of service for its members who sell fuel to consumers at filling stations.

“The lingering crisis in IPMAN has been responsible for the nonchalant attitude by IPMAN leadership, despite series of attempts by NUPENG, our parent body for them to see reason to put up conditions of service for our members.

“It is against this backdrop that the leadership of the Petrol Station Workers Branch will embark on down-tooling and shut down of filling stations, immediately NUPENG embarks on the nation-wide strike over the lingering crisis in IPMAN.

“The PSW members’ nation-wide will shut-down, once the strike starts and make sure it is enforced at the depots and filling stations nation-wide,” he said.

Recalled that NUPENG had earlier issued 14 days ultimatum to the actors involved in the IPMAN crisi to settle their differences.

President of the union, Igwe Achese said  his members would embark on a nation-wide strike if the crisis is not addressed after the expiration of the two-week warning.

Achese told newsmen that the strike will be declared to protect the interest and welfare of his members who constitute a majority of the workforce in IPMAN.

He said the collective bargaining agreement his members signed with the IPMAN in the last 10 years has not been implemented because of the protracted crisis in the association and decried the deliberate refusal of the Chinedu Okoronkwo’s faction to obey the verdict of a Federal High Court in Port Harcourt which declared Obasi Lawson as the IPMAN President.

“We will not allow a few individuals to hold the downstream sector to ransom because of their selfish interest,” Achese said.

He also expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict of Justice Valentine Ashi of the Abuja High Court which overturned the judgment of a higher court in Port Harcourt, saying the development is a sad commentary highlighting the judiciary being used to truncate justice.

“We condemned the judgment in its entirety and still stand by the judgment of the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt until a superior court of law says other wise.”


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