The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and a subsidiary of United States-based ExxonMobil Corporation, Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, have reached an agreement to end a dispute over the sacking of some employees.
This is coming a week after Mobil Producing Nigeria Branch of PENGASSAN rejected a directive from the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that its industrial action should be suspended.
The oil workers said they were protesting the alleged refusal of the oil major to honour an agreement that it would review the sacking of 83 employees in December and that none of the workers that participated in a protest that month would be sanctioned for their actions.
The dispute took a turn for the worse on Monday as the union extended its industrial action to other international oil companies operating in the country by embarking on a three-day warning strike, in sympathy with striking employees of the local subsidiary of ExxonMobil.
However, PENGASSAN and Mobil reached an agreement on Thursday and were to sign a communique to that effect last night.
“They couldn’t sign because they had some misunderstanding regarding the wording of the communique. But basically they have agreed; so, it is just for them to firm up that agreement in terms of how it will be in the communique,” the Chairman, PENGASSAN and NUPENG PIB Committee, Chika Onuegbu, said in a telephone interview.
Stressing that both parties had agreed to resolve the dispute amicably, he added, “The moment they agree on the actual wording of the communique, they will sign it. Technically, the matter has been resolved. They have technically suspended all actions.”