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NUPENG vs NLNG: Oil workers declare nationwide strike

Posted by By FRANCIS AWOWOLE-BROWNE, Abuja on 2007/11/30 | Views: 456 |

NUPENG vs NLNG: Oil workers declare nationwide strike


The oil and gas sector workers rose from a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday threatening to embark on a nationwide industrial action if after seven days, the management of Nigeria Liquified and Natural Gas Company (NLNG), in Bonny Island, fails to recognize the union and recall all sacked workers over unionization dispute.

….Give 7-day ultimatum

The oil and gas sector workers rose from a meeting in Abuja on Wednesday threatening to embark on a nationwide industrial action if after seven days, the management of Nigeria Liquified and Natural Gas Company (NLNG), in Bonny Island, fails to recognize the union and recall all sacked workers over unionization dispute.

Briefing newsmen at the end of the meeting, President of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Mr. Peter Babatunde Akpatason, said the management of the company had pushed the union to the wall and that not even intervention from the Ministry of Labour could be respected by the NLNG management.

Already, the union, according to him, had directed its zonal members in Port-Harcourt to begin an indefinite action, following the drafting of armed security men by the management to brutalize the protesting workers during which one of the employees had his eyes plucked out by security operatives.
Mr. Akpatason explained that some of the workers, who are contract staff had indicated interest in joining NUPENG and that the necessary formalities were carried out before the company’s unit was inaugurated and an executive put in place, only for the management, which he said had never hidden its disdain for the existence of union to sack all of them.

He stated further that the development sparked off protests following which the union moved in but discovered that the management and its labour contractors were not ready to budge, and rather than entering into dialogue, resulted to drafting of security operatives who had been engaging the defenseless workers.

According to him, “the management of NLNG has continuously refused to recognize the union, despite the Labour minister’s intervention. On November 18, the workers embarked on peaceful protest over the matter but rather than call for a meeting, the management instigated soldiers and policemen to harass and brutalise the workers, many of them were injured, some were maimed and one lost his eyes aftermath the soldier’s attack, they are all in the hospital now, enough is enough.
“We know that the action of the management is in furtherance of their boast that they will never allow NUPENG to unionise their junior workers, not minding the fact the senior workers are all members of PENGASSAN.

“What we are demanding is a simple compliance with the provision of the Labour Act 2005 on voluntary membership of union, the management of NLNG has proved that they are indeed above the law and we are ready to cut them to size. If after seven days they still do not allow the workers back to work and accord them their right to unionism, then, we should not be blamed for the unprecedented nationwide action that will follow in the oil and gas industry,” Akpatason fumed.

The NUPENG president who was flanked by leaders of PENGASSAN, including its President, Peter Esele demanded that all the workers whose appointment were terminated must be reinstated, soldiers and policemen who plucked out the eye of one of the workers must be fished out, adequate medical attention for the wounded workers in the hospital, as well as official recognition of the union.

Commenting on the threat of strike, the outgoing Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour, Professor Oladapo Afolabi described the dispute between NUPENG and NLNG as a very complex one which government had tried hard to see how to resolve.
He agreed that the union had made formal complaints to the ministry, and that the ministry would still intensify efforts at resolving the dispute before the seven-day ultimatum expires.


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Comments (23)

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emilia(Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria)says...

Wow,trying to get across to Ekene jnr he happens to be my old friend,lost his contact.any info would do me good

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Valarie(Nairobi, Kenya)says...

What’s your point?

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robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

hahahaha u r a wierdo…hehehe

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ur so boring(To, Northern Territory, Australia)says...

have u ever thought the garbage or the toilet might be jealous? Ur so full of shiz- white piece of shiz BET lol. That's where ppl like you belong (toilet garbage etc), ik the truth hurts but dont take it as an insult im just trying to describe you; ik im good at it ty-The truth hurts right. JSYK black ppl aren't nerds were just smarter than you oops Btw BLMM!!!

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robloxian(Bangor, Maine, US)says...

wow so bad.

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robloxiansays...

U r weird gus

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yawning(On, Northern Territory, Australia)says...

Hmmm define weird plz