Oil workers suspend strike after negotiations

Oil workers suspend strike after negotiations
March 10 16:57 2016

By Ahmed Idris

[W]orkers in the Nigeria oil sector have suspended their industrial action called to protest the restructuring of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The decision came after a meeting between the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu, and leaders of the
workers’ unions.

Thinkers Newspaper gathered that the workers’ union agreed to suspend the industrial action after a lenghty meeting with the minister which lasted till around 5am on Thursday.

According to sources close to the meeting, the parties agreed to set up a tripartite committee consisting staff of the corporation, its management and the workers’ unions to henceforth look at all issues capable of generating conflict, particularly those bordering on Labour concerns and address them.

The minister was said to have yeilded to the  demands of the workers that henceforth in taking all decisions on NNPC
restructuring and industry operation, all interest groups must be carried along.

No time line was however given for the committee to undertake its assignment.

After the discussions which our source described as ‘fruitful’,  all members of the two unions, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers,(NUPENG) were directed to return to work immediately and ensure that normalcy in fuel supply returns immediately.

Kachikwu had earlier announced the creation of seven units from the existing NNPC, namely, Upstream, Downstream, Gas & Power Marketing, Refineries and Ventures, Corporate Planning & Services and Finance and Accounts.

The workers said the decision was “unilateral and arbitrary”, and they shut off NNPC offices and facilities in the country.