Oil workers suspend Strike

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, on Friday night, suspended their five day-old strike action.

The suspension was announced in a communiqué issued at the end of a marathon meeting with the minister of petroleum, Diezani Allison-Madueke, and the management of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The oil workers had embarked on an indefinite strike action in protest against NNPC’s alleged refusal to address unresolved pension issues concerning workers in the oil industry.

The communiqué was read by NUPENG president, Achese Igwe, and was signed by PENGASSAN president, Francise Johnson, and permanent secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Jamila Shu’ara.

Igwe said the industrial action was suspended after the intervention of the minister of petroleum resources. “By virtue of the intervention of the minster of petroleum resources, the strike embarked upon by NUPENG and PENGASSAN of NNPC Group Executive councils and DPR is hereby suspended,” he said.

The NUPENG president said the strike was called off, after the minster assured the groups that anticipatory approval had been given to measures and timelines proposed by the NNPC management to close the existing N86.5 billion pension fund gap on or before August 2015. He said the minister also affirmed that the issue of NNPC crude oil supply to refineries, turn around maintenance of the refineries and other internal operational matters should be internally handled by the NNPC management and the staff unions.

After the meeting, Johnson told newsmen that the unions were satisfied with the agreement and would immediately order their members to resume work.

He however said the unions would be monitoring the implementation of the agreement.

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