16 June 2014, Lagos – Members of the independent marketers’ branch of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) rose from their national executive council meeting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, at the weekend with a declaration that strike option might become inevitable in view of the leadership crisis rocking Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).
Not only that, they also gave the committee reviewing the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) to, unfailingly at tomorrow (Tuesday) meeting, agree to resolve the IPMAN’s impasse and implement improved salary structures among other better welfare packages signed with the branch ten years ago or face “mother of all mothers” strike.
The Chairman of the branch of NUPENG, Mr. Thompson Ogbodo, flanked by his Deputy General Secretary, Joseph Ogbebor (Lagos Zonal Chairman, NUPENG) and Lagos Chairperson (Women Committee of the body), Mrs. Joke Oyeleke, while briefing journalists on the outcome of NEC meeting of the body held in Ibadan on Saturday, said the body was sad at the protracted crisis bedeviling their employers (IPMAN) for some time now, noting that it was causing serious hardship on his members who had continued to bear the brunt through unfulfilled promises of enhanced working condition among others.
Ogbodo minced no words that the body would be left with no other option than to call on its members to down tools if tomorrow’s meeting fails to bear expected fruits, just as he emphatically called for the resolution of leadership crisis in IPMAN.
The body therefore appealed to the federal government, through the minister of labour, to wade into the matter because “we can no longer guarantee industrial peace,” as all Nigerians would bear the brunt of fuel scarcity and other hardship that would be the attendant effect of such strike.
A communiqué released to the media stated further that: “The protracted crisis bedeviling their employers (IPMAN) for some time now had further set their members back, as they are at the receiving end.
“The branch cannot fold its arms and watch the crisis continue as it is impacting negatively on its rank and file who are the employees of IPMAN. The history of IPMAN has been crisis after crisis by the past and present leadership, which has led to the refusal of the body to implement the collective bargaining agreement signed with them about ten years ago.”
While stressing that their members have a crop of experienced graduates working and being exploited by IPMAN because of unending power tussle, the branch said enough was enough to the IPMAN crisis as it could no longer fold its arms and watch its members continue to wallow in poverty.
It therefore reiterated that it would not hesitate “to mobilise its members for a nationwide strike so that the slavery by IPMAN on their members will be resolved as they have suffered for far too long.”