A Nigerian oil labour union ordered an indefinite strike at Total fuel truck depots across the OPEC member nation on Thursday in protest against sackings. The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) said it had ordered its members to take part in the industrial action, with immediate effect, and was holding talks with Total.
Tokunbo Korodo, NUPENG chairman in the southwest, said a walkout by the union's members began in that part of the country four days ago but the nationwide strike was called on Thursday. "We have stopped the operation of Total. We are at the table with Total discussing the situation of the workers," he said. Total did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A senior figure in another labour union - Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) - said his members were not taking part in the industrial action. "The strike will not affect crude production, except petrol, even when it goes nationwide because PENGASSAN is not involved," said Chika Onuegbu, who represents PENGASSAN in Rivers state, in the oil-rich southern Niger Delta region. Nigerian labour unions have in recent months criticised oil companies for laying off workers.
The industry has been hit by low crude prices and a wave of militant attacks in Nigeria's oil hub, the Niger Delta, hampering production capability.