3rd July, 2013
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) late Tuesday night called off its three-day warning strike which has resulted in fuel scarcity and long queues at petrol stations across the country.
The union of junior workers in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry called off the strike after a meeting of its leadership led by Achese Igwe, NUPENG President, with the management of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC. The late night meeting was attended by major stakeholders in the industry.
Igwe announced the suspension of the warning strike during a press conference attended by the Group Managing Director NNPC, Andrew Yakubu last night.
Igwe said the Union decided to call off the strike which was scheduled to end today originally anyway, following the intervention of NNPC GMD and in the interest of the public.
He however warned that the union will not hesitate to call out its members without further notice to the government on an indefinite strike if the issues raised for embarking on the three-day warning strike were not resolved.
The NUPENG president listed the issues affecting its members which the union want the government to tackle to include general insecurity in the country, bad state of the roads, rising oil theft in the Niger Delta, non-adherence to guidelines on contract staffing/casualisation in the sector and abuse of expatriate quota.
The union had on Monday directed all its members at the depots to stop loading petroleum products for three days to protest the alleged inhuman treatment of its members by the management of Chevron, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and Agip Oil Company.
NUPENG said agreements reached with the multinational companies at a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu, over the issue of casulaisation in the industry in May 2012, were never implemented.
NNPC GMD, however, appealed to the management of the three oil companies to take necessary action to rectify the employment status of casual tanker drivers in their organisations while speaking during Tuesday night’s press conference. The union also said the strike was to protest the refusal of Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to implement the collective bargaining agreement it signed with petroleum tanker drivers.