- The State Security Service and other key government agencies have waded into the ongoing strike by the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, by holding meetings with the union
- The union had accused the management of Neconde Energy of wrongful termination of the employment of some of its workers who are members of PENGASSAN
- The union's spokesperson, Fortune Obi, said following the failure of the minister of petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to settle the rift between the union and Neconde, the management of PENGASSAN had agreed to start the strike on Monday, December 18
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has met with the State Security Service and other key government agencies, in an effort to avert the planned strike that commenced on Monday, December 18.
NAIJ.com gathered that before the meeting, the oil workers had issued a 72-hour ultimatum to government to intervene over allegations of anti-workers' practices perpetrated against some of its members working in Neconde Energy Limited.
In response to the ultimatum, the minister of state for petroleum resources, Ibe Kachikwu, had offered to settle the differences between the union and Neconde Energy Limited.
The union's spokesperson, Fortune Obi, said the peace meeting called by the minister during the week ended in a stalemate without a positive resolution of the crisis, Premium Times reports.
He said: “Following the failure of the minister of petroleum resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, to settle the rift between this body and Neconde, the management of PENGASSAN has agreed to start the strike on Monday night. The union said its members have been notified to be on standby for the final instruction to shutdown operations if nothing is done by relevant authorities to avert the planned strike on Monday, December 18."
The minister of labour and employment, Chris Ngige, in a statement through his spokesperson, Samuel Olowookere, appealed to the association to consider shelving the strike as reconciliation was ongoing.
He said: “With the conciliation by the minister of labour and employment, the impending action by PENGASSAN stands effectively arrested in line with the provisions of the relevant labour laws whose powers are invested in the minister,” the statement asserted.
It was learnt that Neconde Energy Limited failed to show up for a consultative meeting held with the leadership of PENGASSAN and officials of the State Security Service to explore ways of averting the strike.
PENGASSAN's spokesperson, Fortune Obi, said: “The meeting, which was a parley between the union and the State Security Services, to know if the strike will go on as planned today, was inconclusive.
"It is a continued discussion. We are still open to dialogue. We could not do much, because the management of Neconde Energy was absent. But, we used the opportunity to restate our demands and our grouse. And it was agreed that they must be present during another meeting this morning for any meaningful resolution to be arrived at."
Obi said if the issues are still not resolved by Tuesday, the shutdown of operations would be extended to the upstream sector of the industry.
He said: “If nothing happens by Tuesday, the flow stations would be shut down. But, we hope it would not get to that.
"PENGASSAN is a reasonable organisation. We believe members would ensure that whatever decision would be taken would be in accordance with our work ethics and professionalism. We are positive. We believe that today, things are going to change."
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), said it was set to begin its strike on Monday, December 18.
PENGASSAN stated on Friday, December 15, that after negotiation with the government over some labour issues, it had no choice than to call its members on strike.
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