The Federal Government has pleaded with the Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to shelve its planned strike in the spirit of conciliation brokered between it and Neconde Energy Services Ltd.
According to the Nigerian government, the appeal became necessary so as to save Nigerians from further hardship during the Christmas season and the New Year celebration.
In a statement issued on Sunday, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige appealed with the Central Working Committee of PENGASSAN to reconsider its decision.
Ngige further urged the union to respect the agreement and call off the scheduled action in the interest of the nation, “more so when adequate notice of strike was not given.”
The statement by the Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere noted that Ngige had on December 13 and 14, 2017 brokered long hours of conciliation between PENGASSAN and Neconde Energy Services Ltd and secured an agreement.
It added that with the conciliation by Ngige, the impending action by PENGASSAN was effectively arrested in line with the provisions of the relevant labour laws whose powers are invested in the minister.
“By that agreement, Neconde shall invite the sacked branch chairman of PENGASSAN and hold heart-to-heart discussion with him while PENGASSAN is to hold back proposed action pending the reconvening of the meeting in the second week of January, 2018 when other contending issues relating to other oil companies would also be sorted out,” the ministry explained.
PENGASSAN, the umbrella body of senior workers in the oil and gas industry, has concluded plans to embark on an indefinite strike as from Monday, December 18, 2017.