Earlier today, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, announced that it had begun a three-day nationwide strike. But why is NUPENG taking this drastic action?
The effect of any strike action by NUPENG cannot be overemphasized. It is one that will be felt by the common man on the streets of Nigeria.
NUPENG are saying they are embarking on this warning strike due to unresolved labour issues with multinationals operating in the oil and gas industry.
As at press time, three of the nation’s refineries had stopped working or at least they’ve stopped loading trucks due to the strike – this is according to Rotimi Benjamin, the Vice-Chairman, South-West Zonal Council of the union.
Mr. Benjamin went on to say that the situation remained the same in both private and NNPC depots in Lagos, adding that loading had been grounded due to the strike.
The vice-chairman said that the union had mobilised members to ensure that the strike achieves its purpose.
He said that the leadership of the union did not proceed on strike to make life difficult for the masses but to press home its demand.
Mr. Benjamin, however, said that the National Executive Council of the union were currently meeting with Federal Government representatives and international oil companies on the way forward.
He said the leadership of the union would address the public on whether to suspend the warning strike or to continue with it.
On December 16 last year, NUPENG had given the Federal Government a notice of a three-day nation-wide warning strike from the second week of January 2017, over unresolved labour issues with multinationals operating in the oil and gas industry.
The President of the union, Igwe Achese, in a statement, said the decision was taken at the end of the NUPENG NEC meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
He warned that the three-day warning strike was preparatory to a nation-wide strike, if there was no intervention by the Federal Government.
NUPENG had come to a conclusion on 10th December last year that it would begin a three-day warning strike on January 11 – The strike is on, people and the FG has to do something about it immediately.