Nigerian Oil Workers Union Threatens Nationwide Strike0

NUPENG, One of Nigeria’s main oil and gas unions said on Tuesday it had issued a 14-day warning of strike action over several labour disputes, including those with oil majors Chevron (CVX.N) and Eni. (ENI.MI)

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) represents a myriad of workers in the oil and gas sectors, including upstream oil platform workers, midstream regulators, fuel tanker drivers and pump attendants.

NUPENG said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has 14 days, starting from 15 November, to resolve the disputes.

“We write to convey to the general public and all relevant government agencies the resolution of the special national delegates conference to issue a 14-day notice of a nationwide industrial action if some legitimate welfare and membership related issues that have been variously resolved in our favour even by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment are not adequately and conclusively addressed and resolved within the next 14 days. This ultimatum takes effect from Monday, November 15, 2021,” the statement reads.

“There is also the matter concerning PYRAMIDT workers, who for more than 20 years now are being moved from one labour contractor to another without conditions of service and union representation/recognition,” NUPENG added.

The union said that contract workers working in oil mining licence (OML) 42 of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an upstream subsidiary company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were being continuously owed salaries and allowances for upwards of eight to 10 months.

“Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Contractors are also owing Contracts Workers’ salaries and allowances for upwards of 10 months,” the statement adds.

“These workers are being denied salaries and allowances on very inhuman and wicked excuses that the contractors are yet to fulfil certain due process, yet this due process is not stopping NAOC from exploiting the skills and sweats of these Nigerians for profits while the workers and their families are wallowing in hardship and poverty.

“In a similar manner, NAOC has since early 2020 been using the excuse of COVID-19 to keep several of our members away from work while using casual/daily paid workers to do their work even while there is a subsisting contract.

It raised issues over workers allegedly terminated by Chevron in 2012, who NUPENG said were not adequately compensated, and over back pay owed by state oil company subsidiary NPDC, and by the local subsidiary of Italian oil major Eni.

“It was therefore resolved and directed that these issues do not require any further meetings or negotiations but decisive actions and implementation of all established issues within the period of our notice to all concerned.”

Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producer and crude sales make up around 90% of foreign exchange and more than half it’s budget.

Spokespeople for the Labour Ministry, state oil company NNPC, Chevron and Eni did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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