The National Leadership of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas workers has lamented that the nation’s oil and gas’ industrial relation’s atmosphere has been negatively impacted with numerous challenges, ranging from redundancy, casualisation, outsourcing, hostile employers, non-implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements to non-recognition of unions in the workplace.
In a statement jointly signed by Williams Akporeha and Afolabi Olawela, the national president and secretary respectively, to mark Workers’ Day, the association said the COVID-19 pandemic had further plunged workers into many harrowing challenges.
The group explained that even in the post COVID-19 era, some workers were yet to survive the negative effects, adding that this had taken a toll on their socio-economic and psychological wellbeing.
NUPENG also said the group would remain undaunted and never quit its responsibilities.
“Nevertheless, the oil and gas workers will remain resolute and undaunted, and will never give up, as the union will continue the struggle and resist every obnoxious and anti-labour practice with all the resources at our disposal. We are strongly committed in our mandate to defend, promote and protect the rights of our members and this we promise to do with all our strength and conviction,” it declared.
The group also urged the Nigerian government to hasten the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
“The Union leadership is equally using this opportunity to call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, especially the National Assembly to fast-track the passage of the PIB, so that it can receive presidential assent as soon as possible. It is our hope that when eventually passed, it will meet the yearnings and aspirations of Nigerians,” it said.
The NUPENG added, “We also urge them to ensure that the minimum wage is not expunged from the exclusive to concurrent list, and that the payment remains non-negotiable in spite of the pressure coming from some interest groups, who desperately want a change in status quo at the detriment of the workers.
“We are equally concerned about the increasing insecurity in the country, ranging from kidnapping, banditry, insurgency, ritual killings, civil unrest, unhealthy rivalry among ethnic groups, farmer-herder conflicts, and citizen’s harassment by law enforcement agents etc.”
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