Oil Workers Commence Strike

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria will begin strike today (Sept 16,2014) due to  the annulment of the closed pension system for the workers by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation. Also, the unions claimed that the management of the NNPC had also refused to finance contributions to the scheme, which they said remained the workers’ legacy pension plan.
 On Friday, the labour unions gave NNPC an ultimatum to address their concerns, which lapsed midnight on Monday. “The deadline was issued on Friday and expires tonight (Monday). It is a shutdown by the NNPC branches (of PENGASSAN) nationwide as from 0.01am. The deadline is 12 midnight. The meeting with the management of the corporation is deadlocked; so, the strike commences at midnight.”
 NUPENG Chairman, Lagos Zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, reported that it was high time the government did something about the pension scheme in the NNPC, as both the junior and senior members of the concerned labour organisations were keen on embarking on the strike.
“Before our existing pension arrangement can be moved to any new platform, there should be clear negotiation. Otherwise, the action should be reversed,” said Korodo.
The demands of the unions were: endorsement of the pension scheme and its adequate funding; the turn-around maintenance of the refineries; and restoration of crude supply to the refineries.
The management of the NNPC, however, guaranteed members of staff and the general public that it was taking steps to avoid the looming industrial action by the corporation’s arm of NUPENG and PENGASSAN.