Oil workers threaten strike over unfair labour practices

AgipMkpoikana Udoma 11 August 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Port Harcourt Zone of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has issued  a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, state governments, oil majors and other stakeholders in the petroleum sector to wade into the alleged high handedness and insensitive conduct of some employers in the oil and gas industry which, according to them, have adversely affected the employment of her members

They say they would be withdrawing their services the issues were not addressed after 14 days.

This was the highpoint of a resolution reached at an emergency meeting of the petroleum workers union, Monday, in Port Harcourt.

The Port Harcourt Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Comrade Godwin Eruba who read the resolution after the meeting, particularly fingered the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, asking it to respect earlier directives from the National Investment Management Services, NAPIMS, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

He said: “NAOC should as a matter of urgency respect the April and June 2014 letters from NAPIMS directing her to discuss the ‘stop gap’ of turbine and related equipment maintenance in OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with ARCO Petroleum (Nig) Plc. It was noted that the refusal of NAOC to obey this directive has posed a great threat to the jobs of our members in ARCO who have contributed to the economic growth of this country since the contractor mobilised to site on that contract in 2006.

“The alleged replacement contractor, Plantgeria (Nig) ltd has concluded plans to cut the workforce by 60%, cut the existing collectively negotiated salaries by 40% and force the workers to sign a yellow-dog contract denouncing membership of NUPENG or PENGASSAN”.

NUPENG which also condemned in strong terms the actions of some companies at the Onne Free Trade Zone which fired their workers over the issue of unionism, said: “That all the thirteen (13) workers whose jobs were terminated in April 2014 by the management of BK Tubulars (Nig) Ltd in connivance with the management of Free Trade Zone (FTZ) Authority Onne, be recalled. These workers it was noted were terminated for exercising their Constitutional right to unionisation”.
NUPENG in conjunction with PENGASSAN threatened that if by the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum and nothing is done, will shut down petroleum activities in the 10 states which makes up the Port Harcourt zone, which will adversely affect both the Upstream and Downstream sector, including petroleum tanker drivers and petrol station workers in the zone in solidarity to the affected workers.
SweetCrudeReports however gathered that, as part of efforts to settle the looming crisis, NUPENGASSAN has scheduled a meeting tomorrowTuesday, with the management of NAOC in Lagos.


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