PENGASSAN Suspends Six-day Strike Action
Based on an understanding arrived at, at a two-day dialogue between the federal government and Leadership of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), oil workers have been urged to suspend its strike, which commenced on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in accordance with provision of the Trade Dispute Act Cap T8 LFN 2004.
The conciliation meeting, which was held over issues of concerns to the oil workers, resolved that there will be no victimization of workers by reason of participation in the strike.
A statement made available to Conscience Triumph noted that the two days’ meeting was presided over by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, having in attendance the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, on the first day. Other senior government officials of MDAs, Oil and Gas Industry as well as the Trade Unions, represented by their Presidents and Executives from National and Zonal Offices, were also present. Below are briefs of Resolutions and Conclusions reached on the issues that were deliberated upon.
The first meeting was held on July 11, 2016, at the NNPC Towers. Fruitful deliberations were held and decisions taken on each of the issues of concern to the Trade Unions in the Oil and Gas Industry. Prominent amongst the issues deliberated upon were the following:
- State of the nation’s refineries;
- Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB);
- Non-Implementation of Collective Agreement for NNRA, PTI, PPPRA, DPR and NCDMB 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA);
- Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS);
- Joint Venture Funding / Cash Call Arrears;
- State of the Nation; and
- Restructuring and Resourcing in Government Agencies under Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The second day of the meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Several labour issues bordering on unresolved industrial relations matters were deliberated on. The issues involved several organizations in the Oil and Gas Industry. Decisions were taken on most of the issues, while others were stepped down for further deliberations slated for Tuesday, July 19, 2016, and Thursday, July 21, 2016, to reach consensus on matters needing further investigations. Amongst the prominent issues deliberated on and majorly resolved were:
- Anti-labour practices and unfriendly management dispositions to Trade Unions in the industry;
- Engagement of Labour Contractors without recruiters’ license;
- Non-payment of Terminal Benefits and other remunerations to members of the Trade Unions;
- Unilateral termination of Contract of Employment of members of the Trade Unions;
- Non-implementation and renewal of Collective Bargaining Agreement in Member Companies in the Industry; and
- Unilateral Lock-outs and Strikes by Management and Branch Trade Unions.
- State of the Nation
The meeting reviewed the State of the Nation and was of the view that PENGASSAN’s complaints that the issue of National Security, Power and Bad Road Infrastructure was in order as members of the Nigeria Nation. The meeting was particularly satisfied with the reports given by the Security Chiefs from the Department of State Security Services (DSS) and the Police on government efforts to tackling the issues of insurgency and pipeline vandalism and kidnapping of oil workers in the Nigeria.
- State of the Nation’s Refineries / Non-Implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) / Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS)/Restructuring, and Resourcing in Government Agencies
The explanation and work plan by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with a view to reactivating the Refineries were satisfactorily adopted, namely: The Non-implementation of 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) in Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), and Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA).
The meeting resolved that only one agency was not yet covered, and all efforts would be done by the NSIWC, Budget and National Planning Ministry to correct this, effective March 1, 2015. Furthermore, the Technical Committee constituted May 12, 2014, was reactivated to conclude the modalities for the implementation of IPPIS in the relevant agencies in the industry before end of October, 2016.
In response to the question raised on restructuring in PPPRA, PEF, DPR, PTI, NNRA, PTDF, and NCDMB by PENGASSAN, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources affirmed that the restructuring exercise had been done in these Agencies and no jobs were lost or will be lost.
- Joint Venture Funding / Cash Call Arrears
The meeting was satisfied on the new model of the new Joint Venture arrangement by the Petroleum Resources Ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as the payment structure put in place to pay off the arrears of the old Joint Venture Cash Calls inherited by the new government, as this will help the International Oil Companies to stem the tide of redundancies being declared in the Industry and help address Job Losses of Oil workers that would otherwise be put into the unemployment market. The meeting noted with satisfaction the report of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources that almost all the IOCs have signed into these proposals.
4. On otherunresolved Industrial Relations issues, the meeting agreed that where Redundancy has been declared by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) without going through Section 20 of the Labour Act, Cap L1 LFN 2004, such companies should revert to status-quo Ante Bellum. Most of the IOCs and Indigenous Oil Companies that have laid off workers without passing through the due process of the Law all agreed to comply, and in such cases where the workers had gone on strikes or lock-outs by Employers, the meeting directed them to unlock such premises, while the actions of Employers have also been put on hold to make for a free and unfettered atmosphere during the negotiations. Negotiations not concluded today with Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) were all deferred to Tuesday and Thursday 19 and 21 July, 2016.
5. The meeting thanked the Leadership of PENGASSAN and NUPENG and the Headship of Federal Ministries of Labour and Employment, the Petroleum Resources Ministry and NNPC for their candour in dealing with the matters. So also the International Oil Companies and Indigenous Oil Companies that came to present their own cases at these meetings.