December 16, 2014 – The Federal Government today shelved proposed meeting with members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG).
Officials of the Ministry of Labour told Channels TV that the meeting will now hold on Thursday to iron out areas of differences between the workers and government.
NUPENG had said it embarked the three days warning strike to press home demands for reinstatement of Mrs. Elo, the National Zonal Secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(PENGASSAN) whose job was terminated by Total Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd.
The strike is however limited to the states covered by the Port Harcourt zone of the union where Elo served. The states are Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, Anambra, Benue, and Ebonyi.
Speaking on the development, National President of NUPENG, Comrade Achese Igwe said the strike is not a threat.
“ It is commencing tomorrow. But we are graduating the processes. The issue is the sack of the national zonal secretary of PENGASSAN (Port Harcourt Zone), Mrs. Elo. The truth is that we cannot fold our hands to see these foreign investors coming with punitive measures in our own country.
“We do not intend to create hardship for Nigerians. That is why we have decided to fashion out a way so that Nigerians would not feel the impact. We are not declaring a nation-wide strike as assumed.The zone where she came from would be shut down on Monday until the issue is resolved and she is reinstated back to office. Without that, no going back.
The states under the zone included Bayelsa, Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Enugu, Anambra, Benue, Ebonyi,” he said and called for understanding of Nigerians adding that the union is forced to embark on the action because of Total’s refusal to reverse its sack of the union official.
“Nigerians know that we do not want to embark upon this strike action now. This issue has been on for a long period; we have done consultations. Even the Ministry of Petroleum has intervened and the NNPC, which is the checkmate of the oil and gas industry have also intervened that the woman should be reinstated but Total Exploration and Production Nigeria (TEPNG) Limited said no,” he stated.