Nigerians to strike over oil sector job losses

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A Nigerian oil labour union has begun a nationwide strike involving petrol filling stations and tankers in a protest over job losses, a union official said on Wednesday.

Cogent Ojobo, Warri zonal chairman of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), said the industrial action had started.

“Filling stations, petrol tankers and all NUPENG members are involved,” he said. The union previously said the strike would last for three days and involve around 10,000 workers.

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Ojobo said union officials would hold talks with the labour minister in the capital, Abuja, later on Wednesday. “If the issues at stake are resolved and a communique signed, the strike would be called off,” he said.

Nigeria, an OPEC member, has already been hit by low crude prices and by a wave of militant attacks in its southern Niger Delta oil hub throughout 2016 which hampered production.

Nigerian labour unions have criticised oil companies for sacking workers in the last few months.

Last week NUPENG held a strike at Total’s fuel depots in a protest over sackings, but it was suspended after one day after an agreement was reached. No details have emerged about the deal.

 

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