Mkpoikana Udoma 16 October 2015, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Residents of Rivers State and its environments may witness another round of scarcity of petroleum products following an industrial dispute between the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, the Rivers State Police Command and a multinational oil servicing company, Weatherford Nigeria Limited.
This indication follows a directive given to all members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers union of NUPENG and its sister-union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, to stop loading of petroleum products since Wednesday, October 14.
The Port Harcourt zone of NUPENG and PENGASSEN gave the directive following alleged assault of their members by officers of the Rivers State Police Command.
National Industrial Relations Officer of NUPENG, Comrade Bassey Harry, while briefing journalists in Port Harcourt, alleged that the management of Weatherford Nigeria Limited connived with some Police officers and beat up the union members following an industrial dispute.
Also speaking, the Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Comrade Godwin Eruba, explained that the crisis started after some NUPENG members were illegally laid off by the management of Weatherford in Port Harcourt.
Eruba explained that members of the union were on a legitimate action to picket the premises of Weatherfold over an unresolved industrial issue with the company when heavily armed policemen stormed the area and descended on the labour leaders.