He Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) On Thursday, it ordered its members to begin full mobilization to ensure compliance with the Nigerian unions’ directive to go on an indefinite strike.
Among NUPENG members are the influential Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), whose members drive the petrol and diesel tankers that distribute the products from Lagos, where they are imported, throughout Nigeria. Virtually all diesel and gasoline used in Nigeria is imported and then distributed by road in tanker trucks.
Therefore, a strike by NUPENG could paralyze the distribution of petrol and diesel in Nigeria, thereby causing a crisis in the sector and crippling the economy.
NUPENG’s strike notice was contained in a statement jointly signed by its president, Williams Akhoreha, and secretary-general, Afolabi Olawale, on Thursday.
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) on Tuesday said they will embark on an indefinite strike from October 3 over prevailing difficulties due to the removal of petrol subsidy.
The TUC said: “The strike is to demonstrate our determination for a truly independent Nigeria; take our destinies into our own hands and rescue our nation.”
In a statement on Thursday, NUPENG said the government had shown great insensitivity and disrespect towards organized workers and the Nigerian masses.
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“Following the joint resolution of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Labor Congress and the Trade Union Congress as a result of the joint meeting of the National Executive Council of the two labor federations, held on September 26, 2023, we wish to inform all our members in the formal and informal sectors of the Nigerian oil and gas industry and alert the general public that the rank and file members of our union are hereby ordered to commence full mobilization and ensure unwavering compliance with the directive of the two Labor Centers to all affiliated industrial unions. embark on nationwide industrial action from midnight on October 3, 2023,” he said.
He explained that NUPENG leaders found it very disturbing and unfortunate that the federal government of Nigeria and other levels of government “are so insensitive to the unbearable and debilitating socio-economic pains that Nigerians are going through as a result of a very harsh and sudden situation.” economic policies adopted by this administration without any accompanying socioeconomic policy to improve and cushion the immediate effects and impacts that these difficult and harsh policies are having on citizens.”
He added: “More worrying to us is the apparent lack of consideration and respect for the cries and yearnings of unions, civil society organizations and the general public by this administration.
“It appears that the management is arrogantly taking for granted the goodwill and level of tolerance of workers and Nigerians in general. This arrogance is clearly and loudly demonstrated by the forms and manners of meetings with the unions and the results of these meetings are taken lightly and disrespectfully.
“The Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) is aware of the enormous impacts that a 24-hour industrial action by organized workers can have on businesses and the socio-economic life of the nation; Unfortunately, the actions and inactions of the government are inextricably forcing organized labor to take this very harsh and painful route of last resort to demand necessary socio-economic policies to improve and cushion the debilitating and dehumanizing living conditions of Nigerians at large.
“Beyond reasonable doubt, the government has shown great insensitivity and disrespect towards the unions and the Nigerian masses.
“Therefore, in light of the above, NUPENG, as a responsive and responsible affiliated union of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC), shall fully comply with the resolution of the joint meeting of the NEC and we hereby direct the leaders of the four (4) Zonal Councils of our great Union to mobilize all our members in the formal and informal sectors to close services from October 3, 2023.
“All NUPENG members, including Tanker Tanker Drivers (PTD), Gas Station Workers (PSW), Liquefied Petroleum Gas Retailers (LPGAR) and all other allied workers in the product distribution value chain oil companies must comply with this directive from midnight on Tuesday. , October 3, 2023.
“All branches and units of our union must take note and ensure full compliance by establishing compliance and monitoring teams at all operational locations. Our Solidarity remains constant, because the Union makes us strong.”
President Bola Tinubu had announced on May 29 the elimination of the fuel subsidy. This development caused hardship for many Nigerians with the resulting increase in prices of goods and services.
On 2 August, the NLC and the TUC led protests by Nigerian workers across the country over the rising cost of living due to government policies, especially the removal of petrol subsidies.
Furthermore, on September 5 and 6, the NLC embarked on a warning strike. He gave the government a two-week ultimatum.
The Congress said the warning strike was aimed at demonstrating its readiness for the indefinite strike that will now begin on October 3.