Mkpoikana Udoma 20 May 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in Rivers State will tomorrow (Wednesday) commence a three-day warning strike if the security agencies, state government and management of Indorama Eleme-Petrochemicals Ltd, EPCL, fail to investigate, arrest and prosecute those that were involved in the violent attacks on PENGASSAN members on Saturday May 10, 2014 in the premises of Indorama Eleme Petrochemical Company Ltd.
This was contained in a statement issued Monday by the State vice chairman of TUC, Comrade Clement Onyesom who restated that the TUC state chairman, Chika Onuegbu, who represented the National President of PENGASSAN during a local election at Eleme Petrochemicals, was assaulted, beaten and his personal effects taken away by the assailants during the election.
The statement said the TUC in Rivers State will take no exception to these acts of terror and is determined to ensure that the perpetrators, no matter how highly placed, were brought to book quickly. According to the statement “We therefore request that the National secretariat of PENGASSAN direct all their Branches, Chapters, Units and Members in Rivers state to comply 100 percent with the strike notice as follows;
“A 3-day warning strike will commence tomorrow, Wednesday May 21st 2014 and an indefinite strike will commence on Monday June 17th 2014 if our demands are not met”. Meanwhile, the management of Indorama Eleme-PetroChemicals Limited said measures have been taken to resolve amicably the PENGASSAN, TUC Eleme community crisis in the company.
Head of Communications, Mr. Jossy Nkwocha in an interview with SweetcrudeReports said a reconciliation committee with all the warring parties concerned have been initiated and headed by a former PENGASSAN president, Comrade Austin Ezenwaka to investigate the matter to forestall any industrial action.
Mr Nkwocha who condemned the violent incident which occurred during the election, restated that the management does not favour any candidate(s) involved as well as it does not interfere in the union elections.
The company assured of fruitful engagement with the TUC and PENGASSAN leadership to resolve all issues and bring back peace, aalso advised the warring factions to embrace peace and ensure that the incident does not happen again in the future.