ABUJA — LEADERS of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday, directed members nationwide to go ahead with the three-day warning strike from today.
NUPENG has had a running battle with International Oil Companies, IOCs, over alleged indiscriminate sack of workers without benefits and refusal to allow their workers to join union, among other unfair labour practices, including breach of Nigerian extant labour laws in their divestment exercises. They are also protesting upsurge in casualisation, job security, non implementation of collective agreement across the entire country and then the gas sector. The decision to proceed on the strike was reached at the end of their National Executive Council, NEC, in Abuja. The union is also asking government to compel the management of Seawolf Engineering Oil Services; under the management of AMCON that allegedly impounded the terminal benefits of its sacked members since 2013, to release the illegally withheld benefits to the workers. Meanwhile, officials of the union, however, said they will honour the meeting called by the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, today, to find solution to the dispute. Director General of the Department of State Services, DSS, Lawal Daura, will also be part of the meeting. This came as United Labour Congress of Nigeria, ULC, in a statement by its President, Mr. Joe Ajaero, called on the Federal Government to immediately address the grievances of NUPENG to check the planned strike because of its socio-economic implications to the country. Briefing newsmen after the NEC, meeting, NUPENG President, Igwe Achese said, that the outcome of today’s meeting with government would determine whether the strike would continue or not.