The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), yesterday, suspended the planned three-day warning strike.
They had threatened to embark on to protest the Federal Government’s attempt to forcefully enroll its members into the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
A source among the oil workers told Vanguard that the strike was suspended to allow the Federal Government to address the concerns raised by the oil workers.
In addition, in a statement to oil workers in the employ of the Federal Government, Secretary-General of PENGASSAN, Comrade Lumumba Okugbawa disclosed that the union is currently in talks with officials of the government and would provide updates after talks are concluded.
He said, “Refer to our letter dated June 17, 2020, on the above subject, which a copy was sent to you. The matter has been apprehended and discussions ongoing with the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. The Secretariat will get back to you as events unfold.”
NUPENG and PENGASSAN had threatened to embark on a three-day warning strike, from Wednesday, June 24 to Friday, June 26, 2020, over alleged forceful enrolment of its members into IPPIS.
The workers had written to the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Minister of Labour and Employment protesting the decision of the Federal Government to stop the payment of salaries of oil workers in government parastatals yet to be captured on the platform as at Thursday, June 18, 2020.
An official of PENGASSAN had lamented that the oil workers’ unions had been meeting with the management of IPPIS over the matter for a long time without any headway, insisting that oil workers in the public sector have rejected the IPPIS.
The official, who chose not to be named, said: “We have intimated the Minister of Labour and Employment as well as the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources. Well, the ball is in the court of government to intervene in the matter before it degenerates. Even up till last Friday, we still wrote letters to the government on the need to address the matter.
“We have already asked our members to be ready for any eventuality. So, between Monday and the close of work on Tuesday, if nothing concrete comes from the Federal Government, we will have no option than to direct our members to proceed on three days warning strike from Wednesday, June 24, 2020.”