The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) say it would impose an industrial strike if the federal government fails to sort out ongoing mass sack in the oil industry in the next 21 days.
This was contained in a communiqué presented to journalists by the National President of NUPENG, Comrade Igwe Achese, after a meeting of the union’s Central Working Committee (CWC), held in Warri, Delta state.
The communique, which revealed that more than 3000 oil workers had lost their jobs as a result of the effect of the economic recession on the oil industry, blamed the worsening economic situation on federal government’s misplacement of the nation’s economic priorities.
It also reprimanded FG for aggravating the crisis in the oil industry by its failure to meet its Joint Venture cash calls and called on government to fast track the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
“As I address you, Chevron has wound up its Eastern operations and their offices closed. A total of 1,500 workers were sacked without their entitlements and nobody is saying anything. As we speak, many companies have left, others are winding up.
“ExxonMobil has asked its contract staffs to go, that it can no longer pay them.nPan Ocean, Sapiem, Grand Petroleum, Hercules Offshore, all around Warri have closed shops. About 3000 workers have already been sacked by various oil companies.
“FG should act fast to avert further loss of jobs. There is too much redundancy in the oil industry. NUPENG will take all necessary action to drive home its demands if government fails to act in 21 days. We are 100% in support in the fight against anti-corruption, but there must be respite for Nigerians.
“Right now, our members and even those in other sectors are no longer able to pay school fees for their children and even afford rents. Worse still, those being sacked now are so treated without commitment to proper terminal benefits”, the union lamented.
He said, “The CWC in session notes that it is a shame that Ghana which recently discovered oil has passed its PIB into law. We frown at the politics that becloud passage of the PIB the past eight years when it was first sent to National Assembly.
“CWC frowns at the refusal of and delay in payment of JV cash calls to the multinationals which has created serious liquidity challenges resulting in negotiating redundancies almost on daily basis.
“We x-rayed state of the economy and believe a lot needs to be done to put it on track. FG should urgently address the challenges posed by inflation which has risen to 17.9 % and the nonpayment of workers’ salaries at local and state levels”, he said.