Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has threatened a nationwide over what it termed anti-labour practices by several oil companies operating in the country.
The strike unless averted cut Nigeria’s crude production output and further impact the fragile economy in view of the fact that over 80 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings come from export of crude oil.
The association in a statement issued on Sunday, and signed by Obi Fortune, its national public relations officer, said it will commence the strike after 21 days, from yesterday, if the companies affected continued with the trends.
“PENGASSAN in the last three years has not only been excessively stretched but equally unnecessarily over-burdened and is fast running out of patience over the loss of will by various managements to attend to industrial/welfare issues.
“Particularly frustrating is the sustained, deliberate and indiscriminate redundancies, sack, casualisation, ill-treatment, adverse work condition, incessant disagreement to collective bargain resolutions and other anti-labour practices against our members by these managements without recourse to extant labour laws,” Fortune aid.
The union particularly identified Fugro, Sterling Global, Indorama Petrochemical Company, Baker Hughes/General Electric, Universal Energy, Frontier Energy, Vam Onne, Neconde Energy and ObiJackson Group, SDF, Ciscon, Tecon, Obax, Pan Ocean, NNPC Retail Limited, Exxon-Mobil and Petrobras among others where extant labour laws are being breached.
Fortune said that the association has directed the zonal executive councils, in the four zones of Port Harcourt, Lagos, Kaduna and Warri, to commence systematic mobilisation of its members for the planned action.
PENGASSAN also called on the leadership of the National Assembly to reconsider the amendment of NLNG Act which, the association alleged will portend danger in Federal Government’s push to woo investors into the country.
Also commenting on certain provisions of the just passed Petroleum Industry Governance Bill (PIGB) by the Senate, the association observed that labour unions, especially the PENGASSAN and NUPENG were over-looked in the membership composition of the governing boards of the regulatory entities in the bill.
Fortune explained that PENGASSAN is a body of professionals who are best equipped to access and make inputs to policies in the petroleum industry by the virtue of their positions and in-depth knowledge in the Industry.
PENGASSAN also observed with dismay the loose condition of service with regards to job security/transfer of employment of staff in the existing agencies.
He warned that PENGASSAN would resist attempt under whatever guise to downsize or short-change Nigerian workers.
The association, however, “appreciated the Senate’s efforts over its inquiry into the planned sale/concessioning of the Port-Harcourt Refinery Company by the Federal Government”