By Joan Nwagwu
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has given the Management of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited seven days to address the alleged anti- labour practices against its members.
Mr Lumumba Okugbawa, General Secretary, PENGASSAN said this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Okugbawa said that PENGASSAN had raised an alarm over the continued unfair labour practices, high headiness and acts of intimidation on its members by the Management of Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited.
“We have, therefore, issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Agip Management to address the issues of anti-union posture of the Operations Divisional Manager.
“We subsequently demand for his redeployment or face the escalation of the current ongoing industrial action,” he said.
Okugbawa said the ultimatum commenced on Monday, Jan. 25.
He recalled that PENGASSAN had in a letter addressed to the company dated Jan. 23, accused Agip Management of acts described as “subtle threat against our members” and the demoblisation of members access to the Company facilities.
He noted that the letter also urged the company management to withdraw its toxic memo immediately and open discussion with the branch leadership, who are representatives of PENGASSAN, with a view to resolving the issues and restoring industrial harmony.
“However, as a responsible and law abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip Management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful.
“It is also laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.
“It is also unimaginable that the Agip Management should accuse us of deliberately avoiding meetings called to address the issues and for disobeying directives from the Federal Ministry of Labour among others.
“Consequently, we are calling on all stakeholders and the security agencies in the country to prevail on Agip Management to as a matter of National security and economic development of the country to refrain from acts capable of truncating the long existing peace between workers and the management.
“We therefore warn that, we will not continue to guarantee industrial peace should the situation persist,” he said.
According to him, If PENGASSAN proceeds with the industrial action, Nigeria stands to lose the company’s production of about 200,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day