LAGOS—NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and its Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, will today begin an indefinite nationwide strike, to protest the inability of the government to carry out Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the refineries and reduce pump prices of petroleum products in line with the slump in global prices of crude oil.
Other grievances include delay in the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB; non-implementation of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development, NOGICD, Act to reflect Nigerians in management positions and expatriate quota law; appalling state of access roads to refineries and oil depots’ facilities and insecurity in the country that has led to the death of members.
Other complaints are appointments in government agencies in disregards to succession planning, compulsory deduction from workers’ salaries for the National Housing Fund, NHF; casualisation and contract staffing and unfair labour practice by companies and government agencies.
The grievances also include termination of appointment of the Port Harcourt Zonal Secretary of the association by Total Exploration and Production, Total E&P, Nigeria Limited; retardation of staff promotion in the Petroleum Technology Development Fund, PTDF; non-standardisation of nomenclature and collective bargaining agreement of the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Agency, NNRA, in line with what is obtained in other agencies in the oil and gas industry and refusal of the management of Addax/Petrostuff Nigeria Limited and Chevron/Sudelletra to recall sacked staff.
The oil workers issued a 14-day ultimatum to government October 31, 2014, threatening that at the expiration they would no longer issue any notice to government because the issues had been protracted and government and other affected companies had not shown any commitment to addressing the workers grievances. .
The unions had issued a statement that all levels of the unions had been fully sensitised and mobilised for the inevitable industrial actions that would affect every value chain in the upstream, midstream and downstream of the oil and gas industry.
Vanguardgathered that ahead of the strike, branch leaders of the two unions met at the zonal levels in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna and had set up joint monitoring committees to ensure the strike is effective.
On crude oil theft
On crude oil theft and acts of vandalism, NUPENG and PENGASSAN alleged high level collaboration of the security agencies, politicians and highly placed Nigerians in the buccaneering racket of oil and gas installations and the resultant crude oil theft, lamenting that the ugly trend signified a looming extinction of the oil and gas industry with attendant job losses.