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PENGASSAN, NUPENG Workers Begin Nationwide Strike

By Niyi Adeyi, Lagos – The Nigerian oil and gas workers acting on the directives of their union bodies –  the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) and Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have commenced a nationwide strike today to press for turn around maintenance (TAM) of the operational facilities as well as reduce pump prices of petroleum products to reflect the mood in the global oil market.

The unions are also protesting against and calling for a lasting solution to the aged long and persistent challenges in the sector, such as pipeline vandalization and crude oil theft, which they contended have crippled activities of the industry and largely caused setback to the country’s economy.

In a press statement, the unions indicated that the industrial action was also to demand for quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB); protest against failure of the government to put into action, the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development (NOGICD) Act, especially at the management cadres as well as expatriate quota law.

They unions which affirmed that their members have been adequately mobilized for the protest, also revealed in the statement that the strike was informed by the poor working conditions at the country’s refineries and oil depots across the country.

Appointments into the oil and gas agencies in total disregard to succession planning; arbitrary deduction from the workers salaries for the National Housing Fund (NHF); labour casualisation and shabby treatment of workers by the oil companies and government agencies, were other key factors for the ongoing labour action.

PENGASSAN and NUPENG also complained that government had failed to honour all agreements reached with them to improve on enabling working environment and conditions of the staff.



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