The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria have threatened to embark on strike if the National Agip Oil Company fails to rescind the quit order given to Arco, an indigenous oil servicing firm.
NUPENG and PENGASSAN issued this threat on Tuesday while speaking with newsmen at the NUPENG secretariat in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
The Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt Zone, Chief Godwin Eruba, recalled that a subsisting Federal High Court injunction had barred NAOC from taking any action till October 26, 2015 when the case between the Italian oil company and Arco would come up for hearing.
It will be recalled that Arco dragged NAOC and four others to court, asking the court to determine whether it was entitled, being a Nigerian company, to the exclusive right to be considered and granted contract, including an extension of duration of such contract.
Eruba called on the Federal and state government, National Assembly, Rivers State House of Assembly and other stakeholders to intervene in the NAOC-Arco face-off, maintaining that their members were going through tough times as a result of the situation between NAOC and Arco.
He also called for the immediate payment of the allowances of Arco workers between 2007 and 2012 at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale gas plants.
“Both Unions hereby resolve that, if NAOC is not cautioned, to rescind its decision and follow due process as required by the law, which includes demobilization and if Arco has to leave the contract, the Unions will have no option than to embark on a zonal industrial action to address the injustice meted out to our members.
“NUPENG and PENGASSAN strongly condemn the quit order given to Arco Petroleum (Nigeria) Plc by NAOC to vacate their plants at OB/OB, Ebocha and Kwale with immediate effect to give way for Plantgeria (Nigeria) Limited, to take over the plant.
“The Unions hereby make reference to a subsisting Federal High Court injunction barring NAOC from taking any action till October 26, 2015 when the case is to come up for hearing.
“We draw the attention of both Federal and Rivers State governments to the plight of the Arco workers, whose entitlements of over nine years are at stake, if NAOC management carries out this inhuman order,” joint statement signed by Eruba and the PEGASSAN Zonal Chairman, Port Harcourt Zon, Mr. Azubuike M. Azubuike, read.
The unions also urged General Electric to immediately pay Arco workers their allowance, between 2007 to 2012 at OB/OB, Ebocha, and Kwale Gas plants.
They recalled that General Electric had earlier accepted the payment at a meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity, Abuja.
“Both Union also call on Arco (Nigeria) Plc to immediately put all machinery in motion to pay our members their accrued nine years terminal entitlements as workers will not leave the plant until their entitlements are paid,” the joint statement read.