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NUPENG suspends planned strike action

NUPENG suspends planned strike action

Mfonobong Akpan

24 hours after the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers commenced a 3-day nationwide warning strike, the union annouced the suspension of the strike after a meeting with officials of the Federal Government on Wednesday.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria similarly dropped its planned industrial action over similar complaints in the oil and gas sector. The association had issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to resolve the issues.

The two unions took the decision to shelve the industrial action after a five-hour meeting with the Federal Government’s delegation led by the Minister of Labour and employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, and representatives of multinational oil companies in Abuja on Wednesday.

NUPENG commenced the strike on Wednesday morning over unresolved issues, including pay and job loss disputes with some International Oil Companies operating in the country, after a 21-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government to intervene and resolve the issues.

The President, NUPENG, Mr. Igwe Achese, said after the talks, “All issues have been addressed one after the other. We are very satisfied with the commitment shown.”

Commenting on the situation, Ngige said it the government has reached several agreements with the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and Local Oil Companies (LOCs) in respect to the workers’ agitation, but the companies failed to comply.

He said: “A lot of agreements have been reached but not complied with by the IOCs and the LOCs as petitioned by the unions.

“It is even more painful and regretful that NNPC has also not lived up to their agreements. So, the essence of the meeting is for us as re-conciliators stop the pending strike by NUPENG and PENGASSAN.”

The minister also said the meeting was an intervention move to agree on timelines for the effective implementation of these agreements.