The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) is set to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from Monday, following a stalemate in the peace meeting the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, brokered between the union and Neconde Energy Limited.
Why it matters: PENGASSAN and Neconde have been embroiled in a crisis over an allegation of anti-worker practices.
PENGASSAN, the umbrella body of senior workers in the oil and gas sector, alleged that the management of Neconde wrongly terminated the employment of some of its workers, threatening to go on strike if the sacked workers were not recalled within 72 hours.
The matter caused Kachikwu to initiate a meeting between the two warring bodies in Abuja during the week, but the meeting ended in a deadlock.
Obi said: “Following the failure of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to settle the rift between this body (PENGASSAN) and Neconde, the management of PENGASSAN has agreed to start the strike on Monday night (December 18th, 2017).
“Prior to the strike, PENGASSAN will hold an emergency Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting on Monday morning, which will be followed with an announcement of the strike on the night of Monday.’’
- The union said it has put its workers across the country on standby for the strike, adding that nothing whatsoever would stop the body from starting the strike by midnight on Monday.
- PENGASSAN’s Lagos Zonal Chairman, Abel Agarin, had in a communiqué said it would not tolerate any act of victimisation against any of its members.
- He said the union’s position was that the termination of employment of some workers by Neconde was unlawful, as it was not in line with equity, good conscience and industrial relations best practices and extant labour laws.
What this means: The governor of Edo, Godwin Obaseki suddenly became Kachikwu’s spokesperson and we all knew it was a hoax when it was promised that fuel scarcity will end within 48 hours.
This strike might lead other stakeholders to begin solidarity strike.
It goes on to show that the Minister might not have been fair with the workers.