Strike Continues As FG, Oil Workers’ Meeting Ends In Deadlock
The meeting between the Federal Government and oil workers unions in Abuja came to an end in deadlock on Monday and would continue on Tuesday, July 12, 2016.
The meeting, which was attended by oil workers under the auspices of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN) and the National Union of Petroleum Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), was adjourned till today (Tuesday) due to the absence of officials of some international and local oil companies(IOC).
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, explained that the meetings were collaborative and frank, adding that all the issues they planned to handle were handled and conclusions were reached.
Also speaking, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Chris Ngige, said that the meeting was adjourned till Tuesday due to the absence of IOCs.
Ngige said IOCs absence made it impossible to discuss the issue of unfair labour practices which the labour officials claimed was prevalent in the industry.
“The meeting will continue tomorrow to deliberate on the issue of unfair labour practices in the petroleum sector.
“The meeting will include officials of IOC, and indigenous oil companies which were accused of laying off workers without going through the normal redundancy clause in the Labour laws.
“The meeting was not inconclusive. What we discussed at the Monday meeting was in our time table, because we could not discuss everything in one day.
“Why we did not conclude it today is because the IOCs are not here. We did not invite them today,” he said .
In reaction, the PENGASSAN President, Olabode Johnson, said the meeting ended in deadlock.
“We did not adjourn the meeting because the meeting was deadlocked, we had to push it forward to tomorrow because we wanted to fine-tune the areas of discussion.
“The issues we discussed included the need to curb the anti-labour practices in the sector and the payment of cash calls and the way going forward.
“We also discussed the rehabilitation of the roads that lead to the Warri refinery as well as that of the Mosimi.
“We also deliberated on the PIB and the need for government to move quickly to ensure its passage.” he said.
Johnson also lauded the Federal Government for the ‘high-powered delegation it sent to the meeting.