01 July 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has threatened to embark on a nationwide indefinite strike over the sacking of 300 of its members by 12 oil firms including, OES Deepsea Offshore Limited.
To this end, the oil workers union has issued a one-week ultimatum to the companies to reinstate its members that were unlawfully disengaged or the nation would be plunged into another round of crisis.
Speaking in Port Harcourt while briefing newsmen, the Port Harcourt Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Mr. Alex Agwanwor, said the disengagement of their members in the companies was unacceptable, illegal and anti-labour activity.
Agwanwor who is also the National Treasurer of NUPENG explained that the workers were wrongfully sacked for refusing to sign a fixed term contract which according to him, would turn them into casual workers in the companies.
He called on the Federal Government and the Ministry of Labour to prevail on the oil firms to recall their members, warning that the union would not fail to withdraw its services if the issue is not resolved by next week.
According to him, “A seven-day ultimatum is hereby issued for unlawful disengagement of our union members at OES Deepsea Offshore and other companies. Over 300 of our members were forcefully disengaged by the company.
“We will embark on indefinite strike if these companies do not reinstate these workers.
“If by midnight of Monday 9th July 2018, the concerns of the union are not addressed by these companies, the union shall have no choice than to embark on an indefinite strike action until our grievances are addressed.
“We are calling on directing tanker drivers, drilling workers and pump attendants to withdraw their service if there is no counter-notice to this.
Also speaking, the Deputy National President of NUPENG, Mr. Baseey Harry, expressed dissatisfaction that some of their members are being disengaged from work.
Harry disclosed that the national body will support whatsoever decision reached by the Port Harcourt zonal body at the expiration of the ultimatum.
“We also give a full support to the zonal action. We want to urge the government and the ministry of labour to call these people to order within 7 days.”
While commiserating with families and survivors of Thursday’s Lagos-Ibadan Tanker explosion, the NUPENG deputy boss blamed the incident on the dilapidated nature of the Nigerian roads.