Chris Steven, Abuja
Nigerian oil workers who commenced an indefinite strike on Wednesday over the splitting of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) into seven companies have called off their one day old strike.
The suspension of the strike followed an all night meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.
The workers under the aegis of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas,( NUPENG) , and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (PENGASSAN) had on Wednesday shut the offices of the state-owned oil company across the country on the ground that they were not carried along in the move to restructure the oil giant.
Their anger also stemmed from the fear of possible job loss due to the splitting of the Corporation but it was gathered that talks and and negotiations were cordial.
It was gathered that the Minister at the meeting made a commitment to set up a joint committee between the unions and key management of the NNPC to review and possibly implement recommendations from the unions.
The meeting also agreed that there would be no job cuts or losses in the course of the reorganization.
A joint statement later issued to by the unions said: “The GECs of NUPENG and PENGASSAN had a marathon meeting with the GMD/Minister of Petroleum (State) and NNPC top management for several hours, ending this morning @ 4:30am on the on-going industrial action.
“After exhaustive deliberations, a resolution was signed by the two parties. In view of that, the INDUSTRIAL ACTION is hereby suspended.
“The GEC salutes your SOLIDARITY, UNDERSTANDING & COOPERATION.”
This corroborates an earlier message posted on NNPC’s Twitter handle which announced the suspension of the strike and the readiness of both parties to resume work in the restructuring of a new NNPC.
“Sequel to exhaustive deliberations between our Group Managing Director and PENGASSAN and NUPENG, the corporate-wide strike has been suspended.
“The Group Executive Councils of PENGASSAN and NUPENG have resolved to support the restructuring and change process towards a #NewNNPC,” the NNPC said Thursday on its Twitter account.