Unions threaten strike over workers’ sack

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Mr. Igwe Achese, the National President of NUPENG. Twitter photo.
Mr. Igwe Achese, the National President of NUPENG. Twitter photo.

The two major unions in the oil sector have given a 21-day strike notice over the sack of more than 3,000 workers.

They are the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN).

The notice was issued to the government on Wednesday night to halt the ongoing rationalization of staff by multinational oil companies.

Some of the companies are Shell petroleum, Chevron, ExxonMobil, Agip, Pan Ocean, Sapiem and Hercules.

These companies said that they have been constrained to sack staff because of the current economic recession.

They say that the activities of Niger Delta militants were no longer tolerable.

A reliable source in Chevron said on Thursday that the company would not continue to waste money to fix bombed infrastructure.

“Since the militants do not want us to operative, the staff who are mainly from the region would have to go because we cannot be paying salaries for work not done.’’

Mr. Igwe Achese, the National President of NUPENG, said the decision to embark on a show down was taken at the meeting of the Central Working Committees of the unions.

“Chevron alone has sacked close to 1,500; Mobil is about 1,000; the entire workers of Hercules Oil & Gas are being asked to go home; Pan Ocean has since closed shop and are gone.’’

“We have lost so much of Nigerian personnel working in the oil and gas industry. What is happening in Nigeria cannot be compared to what is happening in other African countries. We want government to wake up and address some of these issues.”

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