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PENGASSAN Suspends Strike

The oil workers union called on its members nationwide to resume work with immediate effect after its National Executive Committee meeting.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria has suspended its six-day strike after holding talks with the Federal Government and employers in the oil sector.

The oil workers union called on its members nationwide to resume work with immediate effect after its National Executive Committee meeting.

This comes after the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Ministry of Petroleum Resources held a two-day meeting with the leadership of the PENGASSAN, Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and employers and to address unresolved issues in the oil and gas industry.

In a communiqué issued at the end of the meeting by the Ministry of Labour and Employment, it was concluded that only one government agency had been affected by the non-implementation of 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It was agreed that the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission and the Budget and National Planning Ministry would make corrections to be effective from March 1, 2015.

The talks also covered the planned restructuring of the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency; Department of Petroleum Resources; Nigeria Content Development Management Board; Petroleum Training Institute; and Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency; Petroleum Equalisation Fund; and Petroleum Technology Development Fund.

PENGASSAN said the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, assured the oil workers that the restructuring exercise had been done in the mentioned agencies and no jobs were lost.

‘Satisfactory outcome’

In the meeting presided by the Minster of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, some International Oil Companies, which had axed workers without due process, were directed to revert to status quo Ante Bellum.

The communique read in party, “Most of the IOCs and Indigenous Oil Companies that have laid-off workers without passing through the due process of the law all agreed to comply and in such cases where the workers had gone on strike or locked out by employers, the meeting directed them to unlock such premises while the actions of employers have also been put on hold to make for a free and unfettered atmosphere during the negotiations.”

The stakeholders expressed satisfaction with the new model of the new Joint Venture arrangement by the Petroleum Resources Ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation as well as the payment structure put in place to pay off the arrears of the old Joint Venture Cash Calls inherited by the new government.

“This will help the International oil companies to stem the tide of redundancies being declared in the Industry and help address job losses of oil workers that would otherwise be put into the unemployment market,” the communique stated.

“The meeting noted with satisfaction the report of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources that almost all the IOCs have signed into these proposals.”