The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed all its members who had withdrawn their services in Delta State to return to work with immediate effect.
President of the Union, Comrade Williams Akporeha, took the decision after the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, through Honourable Minister of State, Prof Stephen Ocheni and his team, brokered settlement between NUPENG and the managements of Sterling Oil Exploration and Energy Producing Company (SEEPCO) and British Oil and Gas Limited (BOGEL).
A communiqué was subsequently signed by all concerned parties at the end of the meeting at the Ministry Secretariat, Abuja where the truce was reached.
Part of the signed communique read,
“After extensive deliberation on the matter, the Ministry of Labour and Employment directed SEEPCO Management to ensure that all third party contractors, irrespective of the contract status, should comply with the provision of the Law on workers’ unionisation, deduction and remittance of Check-of-Dues.” The timely intervention equally nullified the earlier plan by NUPENG to mobilise its members to kick off nationwide solidarity industrial action if armed military personnel failed to withdraw from the oil fields in Kwale, where workers were sacked and forcefully evicted for belonging to the union, an action which has been described as alien to extant rules and conventions guiding industrial matters.
“The meeting agreed that no worker shall be victimised as a result of the industrial action.’’ the communique added.
Apart from the Hon Minister and NUPENG President, others who attended the extensive deliberation were director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs Omoabie Udeme Akpan, NUPENG Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations, Comrade Olawale Afolabi, SEEPCO General Manager (HR/IR), Dr Chris Offokansi, and BOGEL Business Development Manager, Biju Alex.