PENGASSAN suspends nationwide strike

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) has suspended its indefinite strike action embarked upon to protest what the union described as unfair Labour practices by the management of Neconde Energy Ltd (of Nestoil Group of companies).

The union are accusing the company of entrenching unfriendly Labour practices in contravention of the nation’s Labour laws and failing to remit taxes and pensions deducted from workers to government, while boasting that no government official can call it to order, adding that workers who decided to join unions are treated as slaves in their own country and dismissed from work.

Addressing newsmen after the meeting, National President of the union, Francis Olabode Johnson said the agreement signed between the union and the management is subject to review after three months to determine the adherence of the company to the details of the resolution.

He said that the company has unconditionally agreed to recall all the sacked staff and take steps to allow their employees to be members of the union, adding that the meeting also resolved to address the anti-union posture of other indigenous companies and their abuse of court processes to stall resolution of issues.

According to him, in view of the intervention, the resolution reached and in the spirit of the Yuletide, the union agreed to suspend the strike with immediate effect, while all members have been asked to resume normal duties immediately.

The term of settlement made available to newsmen states: the “Management of Neconde was mandated to invite the sacked Branch Chairman for a meeting with a view to ameliorating the action taken against him and with a total review of the termination of the appointment and conciliatory conditions attached.

“Management of Neconde should create room for PENGASSAN to be revived in the company and report the outcome to the Honourable Minister of Labour within three monthsfrom the date of this meeting.

“National Secretariat of PENGASSAN and Management of Neconde should ensure regular training of Branch Executives in Labour Administration and Industrial Relations. Management should engage the services of experts in Labour Administration and performance appraisals for technical support.”

The memorandum was signed by the National President of PENGASSAN, Francis Olabode Johnson, and his General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, Managing Director of Neconde Energy Services, Frank Edozie, legal consultants to the company, Uche Val Obi, (SAN) and the Director, Trade Union Services and Industrial Relations, in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs O.A. Akpan.

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