By Timothy Oyomare
In compliance with the directive of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), workers of leading international oil companies (IOCs) on Monday, May 15, commenced a three-day warning strike in solidarity with Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (ExxonMobil). The IOCs include Shell, Chevron NAOC, Addax and Total.
The strike which may affect the country’s oil export of over 2 million barrels per day was due to the refusal of ExxonMobil’s management to recall its sacked workers numbering 150 out of which 82 are members of PENGASSAN.
The strike may compound the country’s fledgling economy as projected revenue resulting from the country’s crude oil production may shrink.
The Chairman of Lagos Zone of PENGASSAN, Mr. Abel Agarin had threatened to escalate the strike to include all other workers of IOCs if the management of ExxonMobil failed to meet their demands.
Besides, he also said the union was also mobilising Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and the Nigerian National Peroleum Corporation (PENGASSAN) to join in the strike.
ExxonMobil’s workers which first began the dispute with a three-day warning strike had since commenced a full scale strike with activities in the American company completely shut down, including Qua Iboe Terminal, Best Operations Platform, Erha and Usan FPSOs and Bonny River Terminal, resulting in the shut-in of 660,000 bpd.
The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu had earlier waded into the industrial dispute in December 2016 to no avail.