Nigerias oil workers threaten strike to protest insecurity

Nigerias oil workers threaten strike to protest insecurity

Oil workers in Nigeria threatened to resume a strike they called off after two days in September, accusing the government of reneging on the promises it made to them two months ago.

Officials of the country’s two oil workers’ unions Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) met in the federal capital and threatened to resume industrial action.

In a statement, they warned that “failure to comply with the implementation of the communique signed (in September) with various stakeholders” would “precipitate” the start of a second phase of industrial action in the oil sector.

But PENGASSAN president Peter Esele said no date had been fixed for the new strike.

The two unions embarked on a three-day “warning strike” on September 13 to protest what they described as heightened insecurity, and frequent abductions and killings taking place in the oil-rich Niger Delta area.

They called off that strike on day two after the government undertook to convene a forum to address the issues they were protesting.

Saturday’s statement said the workers consider the government’s “lukewarm attitude” towards the convening of the security forum to be “unacceptable.”

It also slammed the government for failing to set up a commission of inquiry into the killing of one union member and other community youth leaders in the Niger Delta region shortly before the warning strike in September.

The statement further urged the government to drop any plans it might have to sell off the Kaduna Refinery and Petrochemicals Company, warning that such a plan would “jeopardize our national interest.”

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