Abuja (Nigeria) – Based on an understanding at a two day dialogue meeting between the federal government and Leadership of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), have urged members of PENGASSAN to as a matter of urgency suspend its national strike which commenced on Thursday 7, 2016, in accordance with provision of the Trade Dispute Act Cap T8 LFN 2004.
The conciliation meeting which was held over issues of concerns to the oil workers resolved that, there will be no victimization of workers by reason of participation in the strike.
The two days meeting were presided over by the Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige and it had in attendance the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu on the first day; other senior Government Officials of MDAs, Oil and Gas Industry as well as the Trade Unions, represented by the Presidents and Executives from National and Zonal Offices were also present.
Below are briefs of Resolutions and Conclusions reached on the issues that were deliberated upon;
The first meeting was held on July 11, 2016 at the NNPC Towers. Fruitful deliberations were held and decisions were taken on each of the issues of concern to the Trade Unions in the Oil and Gas Industry. Prominent amongst the issues deliberated upon were the following:
- State of the nation’s refineries
- Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB)
iii. Non – Implementation of Collective Agreement for NNRA, PTI, PPPRA, DPR and NCDMB 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)
- Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS)
- Joint Venture Funding / Cash Call Arrears and
- State of the Nation
vii. Restructuring and Resourcing in Government Agencies under Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The second day of the meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Several labour issues bordering on unresolved industrial relations matters were deliberated on. The issues involved several organizations in the Oil and Gas Industry. Decisions were taken on most of the issues and others were stepped down for further deliberations on Tuesday July 19, 2016 and Thursday July 21, 2016 to reach consensus on matters needing further investigations.
Amongst the prominent issues deliberated on and majorly resolved were:
- Anti labour practices and unfriendly Management dispositions to Trade Unions in the Industry
- Engagement of Labour Contractors without recruiters’ license
iii. Non – payment of terminal benefits and other remunerations to members of the Trade Unions
- Unilateral termination of Contract of Employment of members of the Trade Unions
- Non – implementation and renewal of Collective bargaining Agreement in Member Companies in the Industry
- Unilateral Lock – outs and strikes by Management and Branch Trade Unions
- State of the Nation
The meeting reviewed the State of the Nation and was of the view that PENGASSAN complaints that the issue of National Security, Power and Bad Road Infrastructure was in order as members of the Nigeria, Nation. The meeting was particularly satisfied with the reports given by the Security Chiefs from the Department of State Security Services (DSS) AND THE Police on government efforts to tackling the issues of insurgency and Pipeline vandalism and kidnapping of the oil workers in the Nigeria.
- State of the Nation’s Refineries / Non Implementation of Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) / Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS)/Restructuring and Resourcing in Government Agencies
The explanation and work plan by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources with a view to reactivating the Refineries were satisfactorily adopted. The non implementation of 2015 Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) in Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB), Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), and Nigeria Nuclear Regulatory Agency (NNRA). The meeting resolved that only one agency was not yet covered and all efforts woud be done by the NSIWC, Budget and National Planning Ministry to correct this effective March 1, 2015. Furthermore, the Technical Committee constituted May 12, 2014 was reactivated to conclude the modalities for the implementation of IPPIS in the relevant Agencies in the industry before end of October, 2016.
In response to the question raised on the restructuring in PPPRA, PEF, DPR, PTI, NNRA, PTDF, and NCDMB, by PENGASSAN, the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources affirmed that the restructuring exercise had been done in these Agencies and no jobs were lost or will be lost.
- Joint Venture Funding / Cash Call Arrears
The meeting was satisfied on the new model of the new Joint Venture arrangement by the Petroleum Resources Ministry and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as well as the payment structure put in place to pay off the arrears of the old Joint Venture Cash Calls inherited by the new Government as this will help the International Oil Companies to stem the tide of redundancies being declared in the Industry and help address Job losses of Oil workers that would otherwise be put into the unemployment market. The meeting noted with satisfaction the report of the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources that almost all the IOCs have signed into these proposals.
- On other unresolved Industrial Relations issues the meeting agreed that where Redundancy has been declared by some International Oil Companies (IOCs) without going through Section 20 of the Labour Act, Cap L1 LFN 2004 such companies should revert to status quo Ante Bellum. Most of the IOCs and Indigenous Oil Companies that have laid off workers without passing through the due process of the Law all agreed to comply and in such cases where the workers had gone on strikes or lock outs by Employers, the meeting directed them to unlock such premises while the actions of Employers have also been put on hold to make for a free and unfettered atmosphere during the negotiations. Negotiations not concluded today with Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), were all deferred to Tuesday and Thursday 19and 21 July, 2016.
5. The meeting thanked the Leadership of PENGASSAN and NUPENG and the Headship of Federal Ministries of Labour and Employment, the Petroleum Resources Ministry and NNPC for their candour in dealing with the matters. So also the International Oil Companies and Indigenous Oil Companies that came to present their own case at these meetings.