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Nigerian Oil Workers Threaten Strike

Nigeria Pipeline

Oil workers in Nigeria under the union known as the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) are threatening to go on strike, which would lead to a shutdown of oil and gas industry activity.

At issue are concerns by workers that some employers are engaging in anti-labor practices. The Senior Staff trade union has given those companies seven days, starting on Monday, to change what the unions holds to be anti-labor practices.

According to the union, one of those practices is firing employees without following the terms of an agreement between those employers, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, PENGASSAN and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers or NUPENG.

PENGASSAN spokesman Emmanuel Ojugbaba named Fugro, Universal Energy, Frontier Services and Petrostuff as companies that fired employees despite previous agreements.

Ojugbaba stated: “"I want to reiterate our demands that the Federal Government and the concerned organisations including H15, IEME Chevron, Universal Energy, Chevron Contracts Tecon and Avion Oil and Fugro should resolve the critical industrial relation issues in their companies, particularly in the recent retrenchment in Fugro and Petrostuff should be reversed. Let us state unequivocally that industrial peace in the oil and gas sector will not be guaranteed if these issues, especially the retrenchment in Fugro, are not resolved within seven days effective Monday, June 20, 2016.”

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PENGASSAN is also concerned about the need to review the Joint Venture funding and Cash Call payment shortages, a lack of direction in the Petroleum Industry Bill being considered by the national government and the issue of “co-opting government agencies in the industry into the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.”

Ojugbaba commented that under the Cash Call system, employees were experiencing pay delays, and in some cases were being underpaid.

By Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com

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