The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is set to embark on a 3-day nationwide warning strike between January 11 and 13.
This according to the union is to draw attention to the disregard of labour laws by some international oil companies operating in the country.
Chairman of Nupeng’s Lagos chapter Tokunbo Korodo disclosed that the executive council have met and decided to embark on the warning strike if government fails to act right by making the international oil companies reverse the sack of its workers.
“I don’t know if the oil companies are bigger than the government because we have tried on several occasions to dialogue with the oil companies, the minister of labour and Employment has also intervened and insisted that the workers be paid full entitlement. But, they have refused to listen”.
The last time Nigeria witnessed a major oil workers’ strike action was in 1994 when all the unions stayed off work
23 years now and another major action is imminent over a rift between NUPENG with some IOCs operating in the country.
Korodo further said that the warning strike will be a nationwide strike and all bodies of NUPENG will be a part of it “the last time Nigeria witnessed this kind of strike was in June 12 where all arms of NUPENG went on strike, after then we have had quite a few go on strike. Now every affiliate of NUPENG will embark on this warning strike; from lifting to dispensing, which include fuel pump attendants”
The NUPENG boos also said that the matter that is largely internal and even after the dialogue, they discovered that the companies contracted by the oil companies are not in existence. “we checked with the corporate affairs commission to verify the name of the companies that handled the labour issue for the IOC’s, only to discover that the companies are not shortlisted with CAC. How can an international company be involved in such scam?”
The oil workers also plan for a larger action in case the warning strike fails to achieve much. “After this warning strike and our call hasn’t been answered, Nigerians should not blame us with what will follow next. We are always there when issues affecting Nigerians come up, now we can only call on them in solidarity for our cause”.
And although the issue is an industrial dispute without any bearing on the life of the average Nigerian, the oil workers do not see why their action should not be supported
“This will only cause panic buying of petroleum products by Nigerians, but we are fully prepared for the strike action and we are preparing heavily to make it a success”.
Coming at a time the authorities have been complaining about shortfall in oil production, it remains to be seen what line of action the government will take on the strike notice.