The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, on Wednesday called for a 3-day nation-wide warning strike over unresolved labour issues with multinational oil and gas industries operating in the country.
This was revealed in a statement signed by the president of the union, Mr Igwe Achese, as part of a resolve from its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Monday.
Achese warned that the 3-day warning strike was preparatory to a nation-wide strike if there was no intervention by the Federal Government. The planned action according to the union will commence from the first week of January, 2017.
In the statement, the union urged its members to start wearing red bands to work from next week while members of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers, PTD, had been instructed also to put green leaves on their tankers as a protest preparatory for the commencement of the 3-day warning strike next month while they wait for the date to be communicated to them.
NUPENG insisted that it would resist any divestment by the multinationals that “does not carry the union along, especially in OML 53 and 55 operated by Chevron and now OML 30.” According to the statement:
“The union stresses that it believes that whatever goodwill government has to encourage investors to come should not lead to job loses but job creation.
The unresolved labour related issues which made the union to issue a 21-day ultimatum for the Federal Government’s intervention include the non-payment of terminal benefits to 48 contract staff and 250 contract staff terminated in Lagos and Port Harcourt by the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC.
The others are the refusal of Exxon Mobil Producing to reinstate over 200 NUPENG members sacked through its directives to its labour contractors despite ultimatum jointly issued by NUPENGASSAN.
“The Chevron issue includes the total closure of the company’s eastern operations through divestment and refusal to discuss the redundancy terms and its refusal to facilitate the formation of Chevron labour Contractors Forum to interface with NUPENG.
Chevron’s refusal to allow workers to unionize is also causing industrial relations tension. “The other issues include Tecon Oil Services Management reneging on the communiqué signed with the union on offloading the severance benefits of its members working in the companies.”
NUPENG added that “other unresolved labour issues involve Pan Ocean non-implementation of annual salary increase for NUPENG Members in the company from 2014 till date.”