PENGASSAN set to call off strike after meeting with govt. officials

Dr. Chris Ngige, Nigeria's minister of Labour & Employment addressing Oil workers union labour leaders, beside him is Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria's minister of state for Petroleum Resources.

*Dr Chris Ngige, Nigeria’s minister of Labour & Employment addressing Oil workers union labour leaders. Beside him is Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Nigeria’s minister of state for Petroleum Resources.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

12 July 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – Oil workers under the umbrella of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) are set to call off their five-day-old nationwide strike following what it termed “successful” meeting with representatives of the federal government on Monday in Abuja.

The meeting which was held at the office of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, successfully addressed all except one of the issues raised by the union as reasons for calling off the strike.

The association plans to meet today (Tuesday) with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, in his office to address outstanding issues.

PENGASSAN leaders further resisted calls to immediately call off their nationwide strike; noting instead, that as is the practice, they will table it before their National Executive Council (NEC) tomorrow after the meeting with Ngige and the oil companies.

President of PENGASSAN, Francis Olabode Johnson, told journalists after the meeting that a final decision on the status of the strike will be reached after the NEC meeting. He said until such happens, the strike was still in force.

He stated that barring any last change of direction in the dialogue which has largely gone on smoothly, they may call of their strike after the meeting today.

Tuesday’s meeting, it was learnt, will address the alleged unfair labour practices perpetrated by oil companies against their worker and which the union is protesting.

Notwithstanding Johnson’s position, Ngige in his response to questions from reporters after the meeting said the government expected the unions to take a reasonable position going forward, having addressed their complaints.

He said: “We had a wonderful meeting, a good meeting and we provided PENGASSAN the information on the various issues that needed clarification.”

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