Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, has declared that it will commence a three-day warning strike on January 9, 2017 against an alleged anti-labour practice of International Oil Companies.
This was disclosed by the South-West chairman of the union, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, when he spoke to newsmen in Lagos yesterday, adding that the warning strike was inevitable as all other options had failed.
According to him, “We are not gaining anything by going on strike because it is not a joyful thing but as a union, we have to protect and fight for the welfare of our members.
“We have sensitised the public and also seek the intervention of the Federal Government on the anti-labour activities of the IOCs against our members but we are not getting results.
“Our members that put in their best within the time they worked were not paid their severance packages by their employers after they sacked them. This is a big slap and it will not be allowed.
“What they are practising here in Nigeria, they cannot practise in their countries; so, that is why we say enough is enough.”
“Two hundred and fifty members of our union members were affected by the divestment by Chevron Nigeria Limited in the South-East. And this is giving us a serious concern because they cannot feed their families.
“The Minister of Labour, Dr. Chris Ngige, asked all parties to maintain the status-quo ante and we complied because we respect the authorities, but the IOCs seem to be above the law or more powerful than the government; they failed to maintain the status-quo ante which was amicably agreed on by both parties.
“The minister said Chevron had to pay the sacked workers but its management refused to comply.
“It got to a time when Ngige called for a meeting in Abuja to mediate; at times, its (firm) representatives would not show up.”
Korodo alleged that all other IOCs in the country were involved in these anti-labour practices.
“We do not want the public to see the strike as if we are unnecessarily punishing Nigerians. That’s why we are using this period to protest by asking tanker drivers to hang green leaves on their trucks and our members to wear red cloth.
“By next year, if our grievances are not addressed within this period, we will proceed on a three-day warning strike.
“If the government and people concerned are not able to resolve it, we may be forced to turn the strike into an indefinite one,” he said.