10 February 2012, Sweetcrude, PORT HARCOURT – Nigeria’s oil workers, under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have threatened a total shut down of oil and gas operations in the country if its 27 members sacked by Vam Oil Company, Onne, in southern Rivers State, are not reinstated.
Acting zonal chairman of the association, Friday Otono, who disclosed this to reporters in Port Harcourt on Thursday, said the company had already been shut down by its members since Februay 7 to protest the sack of the 27 workers that were laid off in November 2011.
According to Otono, the protest was embarked upon by the company’s staff in solidarity with John Ukegbu, a worker who was sacked on October 19, 2011.
Otono claimed that Ukegbu was sacked without any cogent reason, pointing out that after the protest, 27 of the workers, who were PENGASSAN members, were also sacked.
The unionist said PENGASSAN had made several efforts to resolve the matter amicably but to no avail, and described the company’s action as victimisation.