A Nigerian oil labour union is set to stage a three-day strike at Chevron and Exxon Mobil fuel depots from Wednesday in a protest over sackings pending the outcome of talks with the government, union officials said on Monday.
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said it would make its final decision on the matter after its leaders meet officials from the ministries of petroleum and labour, as well as the state oil company, on Tuesday in the capital, Abuja.
“There will be a total shutdown of production terminals, distribution and filling stations. We are talking about the downstream sector,” said Tokunbo Korodo, who chairs the union’s southwestern Lagos zone, of the planned walkout. He said 10,000 workers would go on strike.
Chika Onuegbu, a senior figure in another labour union – Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) – said his members would await the outcome of government talks before deciding whether or not to strike.
Exxon Mobil and Chevron could not immediately be reached for comment.
Nigerian labour unions have criticised oil companies for sacking workers in recent months. Last week NUPENG held a strike at Total’s fuel depots in a row over sackings but it was suspended after one day because an agreement was reached. No details have emerged about the deal.
The OPEC member has been hit by low crude prices and a wave of militant attacks in its southern Niger Delta oil hub throughout 2016 which has hampered production capability.
(Reporting by Alexis Akwagyiram, Anamesere Igboeroteonwu and Ulf Laessing; Additional reporting by Libby George, in London, editing by Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)