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Fuel Scarcity Looms as NUPENG Threatens Nationwide Strike

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The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has issued a two-week ultimatum to the federal government over the non-implementation of agreements entered with the union.

NUPENG said it would commence a nationwide strike if some legitimate welfare and membership-related issues are not conclusively addressed at the end of the period.

The ultimatum was contained in a statement released on Monday and signed by Williams Akhoreha, NUPENG president, and Olawale Afolabi, general secretary.

The union had reached its decision during a special national delegates conference convened last Thursday.

It listed reasons for its resolution to include non-payment of workers’ salaries, title benefits, among others.

“We write to convey to the general public and all relevant government agencies the resolution of the special national delegates conference to issue a 14-day notice of a nationwide industrial action if some legitimate welfare and membership related issues that have been variously resolved in our favour even by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment are not adequately and conclusively addressed and resolved within the next 14 days. This ultimatum takes effect from Monday, November 15, 2021,” the statement reads.

Outlining some of the issues, the union said the first one was the outstanding short payment of terminal benefits to its members that were declared redundant in 2012 by the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited.

It also accused the management of Chevron of terminating the employment of contract workers for joining the union.

This, it said, was despite the fact that the workers had put in between 10 to 20 years in continuous employment and that their jobs were terminated without payment of terminal benefits.

“There is also the matter concerning PYRAMIDT workers, who for more than 20 years now are being moved from one labour contractor to another without conditions of service and union representation/recognition,” NUPENG added.

The union said that contract workers working in oil mining licence (OML) 42 of the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), an upstream subsidiary company of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), were being continuously owed salaries and allowances for upwards of eight to 10 months.

NUPENG said efforts to make the management of the NPDC and the contractors do the needful on the pitiable plights of the hapless workers had yet to receive any meaningful attention and actions.

“Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its Contractors are also owing Contracts Workers’ salaries and allowances for upwards of 10 months,” the statement adds.

“These workers are being denied salaries and allowances on very inhuman and wicked excuses that the contractors are yet to fulfill certain due process, yet this due process is not stopping NAOC from exploiting the skills and sweats of these Nigerians for profits while the workers and their families are wallowing in hardship and poverty.

“In a similar manner, NAOC has since early 2020 been using the excuse of COVID-19 to keep several of our members away from work while using casual/daily paid workers to do their work even while there is a subsisting contract.

“The Special National Delegates Conference in session noted with deep disappointment that despite the fact that these issues have been tabled before different government agencies/institutions and they have been resolved, the decisions remain unimplemented while our members keep suffering in excruciating jeopardy.

“It was therefore resolved and directed that these issues do not require any further meetings or negotiations but decisive actions and implementation of all established issues within the period of our notice to all concerned.”

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