Bleak Xmas:NUPENG,PENGASSAN Begin Indefinite Strike Today

Oil workers under the aegis of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria will commence a nationwide strike today to protest the inability of the Federal Government to carry out turnaround maintenance of the nation’s four refineries and reduce pump prices of petrol in line with the slump in global prices of crude oil.
The unions said their members had been fully mobilised, adding that the strike would not be suspended until there was a strong commitment from the government and managements/operators of affected oil companies on the issues.
They said in a joint statement made available on Sunday by the Media and Information Officer, PENGASSAN, Mr. Babatunde Oke, that the strike would affect all oil and gas operations in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors.
The over 40 per cent decline in the price of crude oil is expected to have brought about a reduction in the pump prices of petroleum products in the country, as seen in other countries around the world.
The oil workers had last Monday threatened to embark on the industrial action should the government fail to meet their demands.
The President, PENGASSAN, Mr. Francis Johnson, in a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday night, confirmed the strike report.
“We are starting the strike by tomorrow (today) and as events unfold, we will let people know,” he said.
The NUPENG National President, Mr. Achese Igwe, also said on Sunday that the strike was also to protest the alleged sacking of the Zonal Secretary of the Senior Staff Association (Port Harcourt Zone), Mrs. Elo Ogbonda, by Total Exploration and Production.
The oil workers said the strike was also to ensure that the government evolved new strategies to combat pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, which had adversely affected the nation’s economy.
Other reasons listed for the strike are delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, non-implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act expected to reflect Nigerians in management positions and expatriate quota law, appalling state of access roads to refineries and oil depots’ facilities, insecurity all over the country that has reportedly led to the death of their members, casualisation of workers and unfair labour practices by companies and government agencies.
The oil workers said that the unfair labour practices included transfer and termination of national officers of the two unions.
According to them, the government has refused to honour all engagements and agreements reached with them on all their issues of concerns including the turnaround maintenance of the refineries and ensuring adequate supply of crude oil to the refineries to ensure that they function effectively.
The unions also demanded that the government should put in place alternative strategies to stop pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, convene an industry stakeholders’ forum on the PIB status and falling crude oil prices and address the ongoing high rate divestment in the industry and its attendant job losses.


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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