In less than 15 hours which it threatened to commence strike, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and NUPENG have shelved the planned industrial action over some unresolved issues with the Federal Government.
The unions have as well have postponed the planned meeting with Federal Government over their shelved strike till July 11.
Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the South West Chairman, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Lagos.
According to Korodo, the meeting which is scheduled to take place today (Thursday) has been shifted due to public holiday declared by government to mark the Eid-El-Fitr.
The chairman, who is one of NUPENG’s representatives, said that both parties had agreed to meet on Monday, July 11 to deliberate on the issues affecting the unions.
“As a result of this, we have to put the strike which is supposed to commence today on hold to allow for useful deliberations with the government representatives.”
He said that the unions were aware of hardship the strike would cause the general public, adding that this was why the unions had agreed to meet with the Federal Government.
Korodo, however, said that the unions would have no choice than to embark on strike if government did not address labour issues affecting members.
NAN reports that PENGASSAN had threatened to embark on a nationwide strike beginning from July 7 over some issues, including the alleged mass sacking of its members by various oil and gas companies.
NAN also reports that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige was scheduled to meet with representatives of PENGASSAN on July 7, according to a statement issued on July 6, in Abuja.
The statement, signed by Mr Samuel Olowookere, the Deputy Director (Press) in the Ministry of Labour said that the “crucial meeting” was being convened to find a lasting solution to problems in the oil and gas sector.
It said that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu would also attend the meeting scheduled for 10 a.m in Abuja.