*Issues 7-day ultimatum to NAOC
Abuja — Oil workers, under the aegis of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, yesterday, threatened to shutdown 200,000 barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil output over unfair labour practices, harassment and intimidation of its members by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
PENGASSAN, also issued a seven-day ultimatum to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, to immediately discontinue its anti-labour posture and halt all forms of intimidation against its members, especially by its Operations Divisional Manager, while it also called for the redeployment of the officer.
In a statement in Abuja, General Secretary of PENGASSAN, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa, expressed concern that the unfair labour practices by Agip had continued, despite several warnings.
Okugbawa noted that failure of the management of Agip to meet its demands within the seven days, which commenced on Monday 25th January 2021, the company would be face with the escalation of the ongoing industrial action.
According to him, if PENGASSAN proceeds with the industrial action, Nigeria stands to lose the company’s production of about 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
He said: “Recall that PENGASSAN had in a letter addressed to the company dated January 23, 2021 accused Agip Management of acts described as ‘subtle threat against our members’ and the demoblisation of members access to the company facilities.
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“The letter also urged the company management to withdraw its toxic memo immediately and open discussion with the branch leadership who are representatives of PENGASSAN, with a view to resolving the issues and restoring industrial harmony.
“However, as a responsible and law abiding Association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.
“It is also unimaginable that the Agip Management should accuse us of deliberately avoiding meetings called to address the issues and for disobeying directives from the Federal Ministry of Labour among others.
“Consequently, we are calling on all stakeholders and the security agencies in the Country to prevail on Agip management to as a matter of national security and economic development of the country refrain from acts capable of truncating the long existing peace between workers and management and therefore warn that we will not continue to guarantee industrial peace should the situation persist.”