08 December 2014, Abuja – The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has concluded plans to embark on a three-day warning strike in protest against the delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) and other anti-labour activities of employers in the oil and gas sector.
The warning strike follows the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum issued by the National Executive Council (NEC) of PENGASSAN to the federal government and other concerned employers’ and agencies in the sector.
A statement issued by the oil workers union said all organs of the union have been fully mobilised for the industrial actions that will affect every value chain in the upstream, midstream and downstream oil and gas industry.
The anti-labour activities listed by the oil workers include, retardation of staff promotion in the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), non-standardisation of nomenclature and collective bargaining agreement of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA), in line with what obtains in other agencies in the oil and gas industry, refusal of the management of Addax/Petrostuff Nigeria Limited and Chevron/Sudelletra to recall sacked staff, Petrobras managment unprocedural release of staff and its refusal to renew expired collective agreement and the unjust termination of appointment of the Port Harcourt Zonal Secretary and Treasurer of PENGASSAN and NUPENG respectively.
Other issues are the perilous state of the nation’s strategic and industrial roads and highways, non-beneficial deductions of National Housing Fund (NHF) from our workers, un-abating measures of addressing pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, and divestments by International Oil Companies (IOCs) without clear guidelines to check the resultant arbitrary job losses and heightening insecurity of members/families in the troubled parts of Northern Nigeria.
The union noted that plans are at the final stage with its sister union, the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), to mobilise members for a nationwide industrial actions that will disrup operations in the oil and gas sector until the federal government show genuine intention to earnestly attend and resolve the issues of industrial dispute.
The union explained that the purported termination of the appointment of its Port Harcourt Zonal Secretary, the NUPENG Zonal Treasurer was an ill-conceived act of victimisation by their employers and which the NNPC, Federal Ministries of Petroleum Resources and Labour and Productivity, the Department of Security Services (DSS), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) had advised their management against this act but they remained unbending.
On crude oil theft and vandalism, PENGASSAN alleged high level collaboration of the security agencies, politicians and highly placed Nigerians in the buccaneering racket of oil and gas installations, adding that the ugly trend signifies a looming extinction of the oil and gas industry with attendant job losses.
The association described the deduction from workers’ salaries for the National Housing Fund (NHF) as sheer exploitation and demand that the deduction should be stopped forthwith, warning that it would resort to whatever necessary action it deems appropriate to protect its members from further exploitation of the non-beneficial policies that has serve no member’s interest in the sector.
– This Day