The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) yesterday suspended its proposed strike action, after it reached an understanding with the federal government.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, NUPENG president, comrade Williams Akporeha said the decision to suspend the strike was reached following the reinstatement of 89 NUPENG members sacked in CBS Deepsea in Port Harcourt.
The NUPENG president also called on relevant authorities to convene as a matter of urgency stakeholders’ summit in the oil and gas industry to adequately and appropriately address employment and industrial relations crises in the industry. According to him, this will go a long way in engendering industrial peace and harmony in the oil and gas sector.
He cautioned that the suspension should not be taken as an abandonment of the struggle. “As a matter of fact the Union might commence strike in Akwa Ibom State without further notice over the state government’s nonchalant attitude towards resolving very crucial issues affecting our members in Universal Energy Ltd, and the Frontier Nigeria Ltd,” he said.
Akporeha explained that the decision to suspend the proposed strike was also influenced by the directive given by the House of Representatives Committee on oil and gas to the Nigeria Content Development and monitoring Board to commence immediate discussion with the Union on how to improve the lots of Nigerians with regards to job security and workers’ rights in the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry. He said “The process already initiated for the full implementation of the outstanding part of the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between NARTO and PTD”
It would be recalled that NUPENG had on June 2, issued a 21 day ultimatum over some crucial and critical issues affecting the union and its members across the country.
Some of these include the employment policies of both indigenous and multinational oil and gas which are geared toward total elimination of unions from the oil and gas as well as failure of National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to fully implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the Petroleum Tankers Branch of the Union since 2016.
Akporeha said the union decided to shelve the proposed strike following the combined intervention of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr.Maikanti Baru, the Department of State Services, the Rivers State Government.
He assured that NUPENG will remain undeterred in its defense and protection of its member’s rights in tandem with extant rules and civilized conventions.
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