By Ovasa Ogaga, ————January 12th, 2017 ———————-
The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the three day warning strike it commenced on Tuesday to protest anti-labour practices in the oil and gas sector.
In a related development the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGSSAN also dropped its planned industrial action over similar complaints in the sector. The association following its sister association had issued a two-week ultimatum to the government on the issues.
However, in a dramatic twist the two major unions in the nation’s oil gas sector after a meeting that lasted for five-hours with Federal Government’s delegation led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and representatives of multinational oil companies in Abuja on Wednesday, called off the strike to give room for further discussion.
According to a source who confided on us, disagreement between the union and oil companies over staff welfare was discussed.
It would be recalled that the National Executive Committee of NUPENG had embarked on a three-day industrial action to protest the sacking of over 4000 oil workers without benefits by oil firms on Tuesday.
Both the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the president of the union, Mr Igwe Achese, told reporters that a timeline of two weeks had been set to resolve some of the issues that led to the strike action.