NUPENG Threatens Strike Over Sacked Workers.
The Nigerian Union Of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), has threatened to embark on a strike without the next 48 hours. NUPENG, says the Federal Government and Management of its Port Harcourt branch should reverse the sack of over 175 contract workers.
If their demand is not met, NUPENG, will shut supply of petroleum products across the Port Harcourt zone. The PHRC Union, warned that it would order petrol station workers, tanker drivers and others, to withdraw their services in solidarity.
The threat, was issued on Thursday by the Chairman of the PHRC union, Mr Mina Samuel, while addressing the press in Port Harcourt.
Samuel, said the actions of the Port Harcourt Refinery Company (PHRC), was in defiance of extant labour laws. He added that it is the height of insensitivity to Nigerian workers in a time like this.
“While the world is putting palliative measures in place and protecting workers’ rights, the refinery is terminating appointments of workers. The action, he said, would only cause more hardship on workers trying to survive despite the Covid-19 lockdown.
“The Port Harcourt Zone of NUPENG, may be forced to come out of its shell due to the PHRC’s management action. It will withdraw the supply of petroleum products within the Port Harcourt zone if the PHRC, fails to reverse it’s decision. The reversal, should be with immediate effect”, Samuel said.
“Consequently, NUPENG, is giving PHRC 48 hours, to direct it’s contractors, to withdraw all termination letters issued to all NUPENG employees”.
“We advise that the Port Harcourt Refinery Management, engage the union once normalcy returns, if need be”.
“PHRC management, leaves NUPENG with no other option than to call out all it’s members in the Port Harcourt zone”. “Petroleum tanker drivers, Petrol station workers, risking their lives by working in a time like this, will also be called out. They will be instructed to cease supply of petroleum products in solidarity with affected members”.
The National Treasurer of NUPENG, Mr Alex Agwangwor, also had something to say about the matter. “Nigeria will not only face the Covid-19 pressure but an economic crisis as well, should NUPENG, embark on a strike”.
Members in refineries in Warri and Kaduna zones, were also affected by the job layoff, Agwangwor, revealed. He expressed the need for companies operating in the Port Harcourt zone, to guarantee its workers job security and safety.
“Fuel tanker drivers and others on essential duties”, are not allowed to move freely, the PHRC union, further lamented. This is due to the Covid-19 lockdown in Rivers ordered by the state government.
“We appeal to the government, to address this challenge in line with the State Government’s directive on exemption of those on essential duty”.