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Nigeria Oil Unions Delay Strike Decision

Posted by By Daniel Balint-Kurti, Associated Press Writer on 2005/01/24 | Views: 468 |

Nigeria Oil Unions Delay Strike Decision


LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Oil unions said they would put off until Tuesday a decision on whether to hold a threatened strike, after two oil executives blamed for cutting workers' benefits ignored the unions' ultimatum demanding they leave Nigeria.

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) -- Oil unions said they would put off until Tuesday a decision on whether to hold a threatened strike, after two oil executives blamed for cutting workers' benefits ignored the unions' ultimatum demanding they leave Nigeria.

Union leaders demanded the two top managers of Malaysian-owned drilling firm WASCO leave Nigeria by Sunday or they would strike Monday in and around Port Harcourt.

A strike could cut off more than 500,000 barrels per day of oil production in and around the oil hub city of Port Harcourt, in the southern Niger delta.

Nigeria is the world's seventh largest oil exporter, producing some 2.5 million barrels of crude per day. It is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States.

A union official said a final decision on whether the strike would go ahead would be made after a meeting with labor ministry officials.

"Our meeting tomorrow with the Ministry of Labor will decide whether the zone is going to go into a full-blown strike or not," Bassey Harry, head of blue-collar oil union NUPENG in Port Harcourt, said Monday.

The ministry was trying to arrange a meeting between WASCO and union officials, he added.

Harry said WASCO's managers have, until now, refused direct talks with union leaders. WASCO's American manager Mike Walker said he had asked the local labor ministry to act as intermediary in the talks.

WASCO is registered in Nigeria, but majority-owned by Malaysian firm SCOMI.

The two WASCO executives concerned are Walker, and his Scottish deputy, Gordon McCullough.

Walker was still in Nigeria on Monday, and declined to say if he was prepared to leave the country.

"I can tell you for a fact that all the expats in the company are a little bit nervous about soldiering on," Walker said. "We referred the matter to the labor ministry, and I'm sure that issue will be discussed." The firm has six other expatriate staff.

The strike would initially target oil operations around Port Harcourt, including the major Bonny oil export terminal, and will be extended nationwide if demands are still not met after three days, PENGASSAN regional head Chris Ochonogor said last week.

WASCO took over 20 workers off regular contracts and employed them on an irregular basis last year, saying declining business forced it to make the cuts.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding

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Ikponmwosa Osamede(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Your meaning of Osamede is wrong. Osamede means God has given me a crown