Nigeria Oil Unions Plan Three-Day Strike Over Labor Practices

Nigeria’s two oil unions are poised to start a three-day strike this week to protest at what they say are unfair labor practices and also to press for the passage of a new law.

The precise timing of action will be announced once union leaders finish a meeting later today, Babatunde Oke, a spokesman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, or Pengassan, said by phone from Lagos, the country’s commercial capital. Two calls and a text message to Ohi Alegbe, a spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., weren’t immediately returned.

“Oil workers have concluded plans to shut down all oil and gas installations in the country due to the anti-labor activities of some employers,” Oke said in an earlier statement.

The manager-level Pengassan and the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, or Nupeng, also want authorities to expedite passage of the petroleum industry bill, intervene in a dispute over pensions for members at the NNPC and check crude theft and pipeline sabotage, according to the statement. The two unions are affiliated to each other.

Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer and the continent’s largest economy. The West African nation relies on crude for about 70 percent of government revenue and 95 percent of foreign exchange income. More than 80 percent of its crude is pumped by Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., Total SA and Eni SpA in joint ventures with state-owned NNPC.

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