PENGASSAN suspends strike, reaches agreement with FG

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    The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria in the early hours of Wednesday suspended its six-day strike after deliberations with officials of the Federal Government and employers in the oil sector.

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

    The suspension of the strike came after the Ministry of Labour and Employment and Ministry of Petroleum Resources held a two-day meeting with the leadership of PENGASSAN, Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and oil companies to address some 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 the 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement, stating that National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission and the Budget and National Planning ministry would make corrections to be effective from March 1, 2015.

    On the issue of restructuring in the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency, Department of Petroleum Resources, Nigeria Content Development Management Board, Petroleum Training Institute, Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency, Petroleum Equalisation Fund and Petroleum Technology Development Fund, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, assured stakeholders that the restructuring exercise in the agencies had been done and no jobs were lost.

    In the meeting presided over by the Minster of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, some International Oil Companies that had declared redundancies without due process were directed to revert to the status quo ante.

    The communiqué read in part, “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 meeting was satisfied with the new model of the 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 who will otherwise be put into the unemployment market.

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

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