by Lekan Olanrewaju
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has threatened to embark on a three-day warning strike from April 16.
The body, in a petition to the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Productivity, threatened that all activities in the downstream and upstream sector would be shut down and that they would also embark on an indefinite action should government fail to meet their demands after the initial warning strike.
The General Secretary, Mr Bayo Olowoshile, listed several of the body’s grievances which included “unjustifiable mass disengagement and migration of workers to contract staffing and casuals in the downstream oil and gas products marketing and distribution sectors, it said that most of the downstream companies had totally disengaged members inherited upon privatisation.”
“We write to notify the Minister of Labour and Productivity on the frustration and displeasure of our members in general and the association in particular over the alarming rate of unfair labour practices, anti-union activities and the unsavory approach of the relevant Ministries Department and Agencies in appropriately attending to the reported issues.” said the statement.
“Arising from the above, we hereby notify you of a 3-day nationwide warning strike that would necessitate total withdrawal of all our members from work locations with effect from Monday, April 16, 2012. PENGASSAN, despite being unappreciated, undermined and chastised persistently tried to maintain relative calm in the hope that Government is fully committed, focused and utmost working in the manner that will either caution, discourage or prevent the high rate of jobs losses, unfair labour practices, anti-union activities and misadministration of national content laws to the detriment of our nationals and employment situation in the industry.” it continued.
“PENGASSAN has now resolved to embark on mass campaign and advocacy to bring the attention of the Nigeria public to the issues in the Nigeria Oil & Gas which point very glooming picture for the entire nation.”