The leadership of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended its 21 days ultimatum issued to employers in the Oil and Gas sector of the country.
Mr Williams Aaporeha, NUPENG National President, said this when he addressed newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.
Newsmen recall that NUPENG had on June 2, 2018 issued a 21-day ultimatum over some crucial and critical issues affecting the union and its members across the nation.
The issues include, failure of National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) to fully implement the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed with the Petroleum Tankers Branch of the Union since 2016.
Others are Service Level Agreement (SLA) reached between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the Oil Producers Trade Section (OPTS) on contract cycle in the oil and gas industry.
Also, the employment policies of both indigenous and multinational oil and gas, which are geared toward total elimination of unions from the oil and gas industry.
According to Aaporeha, the suspension of the ultimatum was due to the reinstatement of 89 oil and natural gas workers sacked by OES Deepsea Offshore oil firm based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
“Also, the directive given by the Committee of the House of Representatives to the Nigeria Content Development and monitoring Board to commence immediate discussion with the Union on how to improve the lots of Nigerians.
“This is with regards to job security and workers’ rights in the Oil and Gas Industry.
“This also include the process already initiated for the full implementation of the outstanding part of the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between NARTO and PTD.
“Also the undertaking made by Rivers State Government to call the management of the other companies operating in Port Harcourt for comprehensive resolution of identified issues.
“This is as contained in the ultimatum from the union’s Port Harcourt Zonal Council.
“We therefore direct all our zones, units and the entire body of NUPENG to accordingly comply with this directive forthwith, ’’ he said.
He, however, warned that the union might commence strike in Akwa Ibom State without further notice over the State government’s “nonchalant attitude towards resolving crucial issues affecting” their members in Universal Energy Ltd and the Frontier Nigeria Ltd.
He commended the Chairman House Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Mr Joseph Akinlaja, Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige, among others, for their quick intervention.
The union president also called on all relevant authority to convene as a matter of urgency, stakeholders’ summit in the oil and gas industry to adequately and appropriately address employment and industrial relations crises in the industry.
According to him, this will go a long way in engendering industrial peace and harmony in the oil and gas sector.