03 July 2013, Lagos – Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the Chairman, Western Zone of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Wednesday confirmed the suspension of its three-day warning strike.
Korodo told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in a telephone interview in Lagos that the strike was suspended on Tuesday at about 12 midnight, after the union’s National Executive Council, NEC, meeting.
He said that it took the intervention of the Group Managing Director, GMD, of NNPC, Mr Andrew Yakubu, to call off the strike.
Korodo said that the NNPC chief executive assured the union that the issue would be resolved when the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke returned from her international trip.
“The suspension was announced after our NEC meeting in Abuja last night. The decision to end the industrial action was in the interest of the public and the intervention of Mr Yakubu,” he said.
Korodo said that Yakubu pleaded with the management of the three oil companies to rectify the employment status of casual tanker drivers in their organisations.
The National Secretary of NUPENG, Mr Isaac Aberare also confirmed the suspension of the warning strike.
“We have suspended the three-day warning strike due to the intervention of the GMD of NNPC and other well–meaning Nigerians,” Aberare said.
NAN reports that the major issues that led to the warning strike include insecurity in the oil producing region, bad state of the roads, and rising oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The union also complained about non-adherence to guidelines on contract staffing, casualisation in the sector ,and abuse of expatriate quota.
NAN recalls that NUPENG on Monday directed its members at the depots to stop loading petroleum products for the next three days.
The directive was meant to protest the alleged inhuman treatment of its members by Chevron, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, and Agip Oil Company.
The strike was also called to protest the refusal of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, to implement the collective bargaining agreement signed with petroleum tanker drivers.