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Oil workers begin three-day warning strike today

barring any last-minute change in plan, the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers will commence its planned three-day warning strike today (Wednesday) over unresolved issues with some International Oil Companies operating in the country.

The union said it had given the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to intervene in a bid to resolve the issues.

The Chairman, NUPENG, South-West zone, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, told our correspondent on Tuesday, “We have planned a national three-day warning strike commencing from January 11; it is about the activities of the IOCs, including the divestment by Chevron that affected about 250 workers and the termination of the appointment of 48 contract workers by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in 2014 without the payment of terminal benefits.

“The issues are still begging for government’s intervention. They inherited them from the past administration, but we have been discussing the issues with the present government. We now said, ‘We can no longer fold our arms and allow our members to be maltreated this way.’ If the government fails to intervene, Nigerians should not blame us for any eventuality that happens thereafter.”

Reuters reported on Tuesday that some oil workers had gone on strike at the Oleh crude oil flow station in Warri, saying they had not been paid.

“The striking workers at the Oleh flow station, besides the struggle for good pay and conditions of service, are also asking for their rights to be unionised,” the Warri Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Mr. Cogent Ojobo, was quoted as saying.

In a related development, an excess of Nigerian crude oil weighed on differentials on Tuesday, while buyers were made more wary due to a threatened increase in hostilities by militants in the oil-producing Delta region.

Shell Petroleum Development Company reopened the Trans Niger Pipeline on January 8, after closing it on January 3 due to a fire. There was not yet a revised loading schedule for Bonny Light, which is exported via the pipeline.

A variety of Nigerian crudes were experiencing loading delays, including Qua Iboe, Erha, Usan and Bonny Light. The issues made them less attractive to potential buyers, traders said, and there were some 30 February-loading cargoes left.

A threat from militants to resume hostilities has also raised concerns about further disruptions to supplies.

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