By Senator Iroegbu
Abuja — The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has appealed to the Petroleum and Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) to shelve its planned strike in the spirit of conciliation brokered between it and Neconde Energy Services Ltd.
Ngige in a statement yesterday by the Deputy Director, Press in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, said: "With the conciliation by the Minister of Labour and Employment, the impending action by PENGASSAN stands effectively arrested in line with the provisions of the relevant labour laws whose powers are invested in the minister.
"We recall that the minister had December 13 and 14, 2017, brokered long hours of conciliation between PENGASSAN and Neconde Energy Services Limited and secured an agreement. By that agreement, Neconde will review the termination of the affected staff members with a view to making it conform with the relevant labour laws as regards disengagement of staff . Neconde should also within three months restore the PEGASSAN unit in its establishment in the spirit of the freedom of association as enshrined in the ILO Convention as well as section 40 of the 1999 Constitution which deals on the same issue.
"It was further agreed that labour issues related with other oil and gas companies- CISCON and others were to be taken in the second week of January 2018. On the other hand, PENGASSAN is to honour its own side of the bargain, report to its Central Working Committee with a view to shelving the strike.
"We therefore wish to appeal to the Central Working Committee of PENGASSAN to reconsider its decision, respect the agreement and call off the scheduled action in the overall interest of the nation, more so when adequate notice of strike was not given. This appeal has become imperative in order to save Nigerians from further hardship in this season of Christmas and the New year."