The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has warned the Federal Government that the union will embark on a nationwide strike this week. Its officials will meet the government to discuss its labour dispute. This was made known by Lumumba Okugbawa, the union’s general secretary.
PENGASSAN, whose members mainly work in the upstream oil industry, would hold talks with the Labour Ministry. According to the general secretary of the union, the strike, planned from December 18, could hit oil production and dent exports, as they did same period in 2016 during a PENGASSAN action against ExxonMobil. The dispute arose after domestic oil and gas companies and marginal field operators laid off union members. Marginal fields refer to discoveries made by oil majors during exploration of larger acreages but which have been left for others to develop.
The senior oil and gas union has asked the government to force the management of those companies to recall the workers. It made it known that the oil firms ordered mass retrenchment but has not given figures of workers laid off.
Oil output from Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude exporter, has been volatile over the past two years due to militant attacks, pipeline theft including sabotage and industrial actions.