THE Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has threatened to embark on a nationwide industrial action over the alleged anti-labour practices of International Oil Companies (IOCs).
Its President, Comrade Igwe Achese, said the spate of redundancy in the industry was worrisome, as workers were being booted out daily.
He pointed out that the actions of the IOCs were contrary to the government’s zero/tolerance for job losses, condemnable and unacceptable to the union.
He threatened strike if the government failed to call the multinational oil firms which have engaged in anti-labour and union activities to order.
“Let me use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government to intervene in the unresolved labour issues with the following companies so that we do not witness a nationwide industrial action by next week when our 21-day ultimatum expires,” he said.
He condemned the anti-union posture of the IOCs, noting that the constitution stipulates freedom of association and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 87 and 98, which Nigeria is a signatory.
He said the anti-union posture of the IOCs was brewing tension in the industry.
He advised the Federal Government to prevail on the multinationals and service companies to stop the spate of retrenchment.
Achese said the union would not support the sale of NNPC’s assets without proper consultation with labour unions in the sector.
According to him, there is no way the unions would allow these assets to be sold without their input.
Achese said: “We are opposed to the sale of the nation’s assets, especially the refineries. We believe that the proposed sale is unnecessary and not in our national interest, as they will be sold to their cronies as scraps. The union will resist any attempt to sell these national assets and advise that government should look at other areas to revamp the economy.’’
“NUPENG says no to sale of NNPC assets, we are against any sale of the nation’s assets because there is no justification for it.
“They are planning to sell them to their cronies like they did in power sector. We cannot continue to watch until they sell the whole nation. Labour unions cannot wake up and discover that assets are being put up for sale without consulting. The state of our roads is still nothing to write home about as they are all dilapidated. We condemn the slow pace of work by the contractors recently mobilised to site.”