The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) said it had mobilised its members for a nationwide strike beginning from today following inability of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kackikwu, to resolve the disagreement between it and an oil and gas firm, Neconde.
The industrial action will worsen the current fuel crisis in some parts of the country.
A meeting facilitated by Kachikwu in Abuja at the weekend between PENGASSAN and Neconde over the sack of some workers by the oil company was deadlocked.
PENGASSAN, in a statement by its National Public Relations Officer, Fortune Obi, said the union would hold an emergency meeting this morning. He said the oil workers were being put on standby for the strike that might begin midnight today.
PENGASSAN had issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government, warning that the industrial action would result in shutting down of oil and gas installations and disruption of fuel supply across the country.
The union is also protesting against alleged anti-labour practices by some indigenous oil and gas companies, marginal field operators and agencies of government.
The Communications Manager of Neconde, Segun Fafore, told the reporters that the allegations against the firm by the oil workers were unfounded. He said the workers were sacked due to failure to meet the firm’s expectations after series of assessment.
“The allegations against us are unfounded. As an organisation that is performance-driven, we do reviews and we pass assessment regardless that you are an affiliate of a labour union. If you don’t measure up to the expected standard, you’ll be sacked. It is propaganda to ensure that unnecessary attention is focused on us.
“We will continue to operate above the standard level and we’ll continue to protect the welfare of our workers. We don’t just throw people out, we review our performance frequently and any one that does not work to meet up will be walked out,” Fafore said.