By Ruth Olurounbi
Following threat of a strike action by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) over a labour dispute involving the Management of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) and its staff, the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Dr Maikanti Baru, has urged the oil workers to suspend their planned industrial action saying the corporation has directed that the issues be resolved.
Baru, through the NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, said in an emailed statement that the corporation’s management has been directed to work with other stakeholders to resolve the issue raised by the leadership of the oil industry unions.
It will be recalled that the oil workers leadership last Wednesday indicated that they would begin a strike action over concerns that contracts of Chevron’s workers would be terminated by end of October 2018.
Following the disclosure that Chevron was ending its contracts with all its manpower services providers, the unions had previously called on the National Assembly, the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the NNPC, the Department of State Services (DSS), to intercede in the ongoing issue before the Wednesday’s ultimatum to embark on the strike action.
Previous strike actions from the two unions have not boded well for Nigerian consumers in the past, as consumers such as motorists and companies dependent on Premium Motor Spirit as well as other consumers have faced severe difficulties in accessing fuel for their economic activities.
On concerns of a potential repeat, Baru appealed to the unions not to disrupt the industrial harmony that has so far prevailed in the sector and assured consumers of petroleum products that there would no hiccups as the NNPC holds adequate storage across the country to take care of the national demand.