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Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG begins warning strike today

NUPENG president, Igwe Achese while addressing journalists yesterday in Abuja after the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the union however said the outcome of the meeting will determine if the strike will be suspended or continue beyond today.

He disclosed that no fewer than  4000 workers in the oil sector have lost their jobs due to various unfair labour practices by International Oil Companies (IOCs).

The NUPENG has been having  disputes with International Oil Companies, IOCs, especially indiscriminate sack of workers without benefits and refusal to allow their workers to join union. He said the strike is imperatives as a result of “casualisation, job security, non-implementation of collectives agreement in the oil and gas sector in the country, and the bakarnisation of the ongoing divestment system that is currently taking place.

‘‘The last meeting we had over these matter was in May 2016. We have some positions which we took with the minister of petroleum, the GMD and other key agencies who were involved, in order for us drive this challenges. And as I speak, right from where we took the decision to go on the 3-day warning strike, nothing has be done.

‘‘We sincerely from the bottom of our heart want to commend  the DG of SSS who has mediated on this matters strongly to see that the union did not go on strike, but it is unfortunately that nothing has been done to bring hope to the Nigerian workers in the sector,’’ he said.

We gathered the union will today be meeting with the federal government at the ministry of labour to deliberate on the issues. The strike is coming after the expiration of a 21-day ultimatum given by   NUPENG to government to address pending issues with IOCs.

Meanwhile, following the brewing crisis in the oil and gas sector, The United labour Congress of Nigeria (ULC) has threatened to support its affiliate, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to embark on nationwide strike if nothing is done to compel Seawolf Engineering Oil Services, under the management of AMCON to pay the benefits of its sacked members.

A statement signed by the President of ULC, comrade Joe Ajaero said as part of the anti-corruption drive, the federal Government should quickly investigate the various AMCON deals that saw the takeover of Seawolf by the agency and its various operations since the inception of the deal.

He said this will clear the air on the alleged fraud that has been perpetrated and may open the eyes of the federal government to the sleaze that may have gone on during the AMCON takeover of many organisations.

Ajaero said “Federal Government should immediately intervene in this matter by ordering AMCON to instruct the management of Seawolf to pay workers their terminal benefits in line with the laws of our nation governing workplace relations. This will avert any impending crisis and diffuse to a large extent the tension in the sector.

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