The Department of State Services (DSS) has blamed the ongoing nationwide strike embarked upon by members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) on multinational oil giant, TOTAL Nig. Plc., saying that the company had reneged on an agreement with the union.
The spokesperson for DSS, Marilyn Ogar, who stated this while addressing the media yesterday on the ongoing strike, urged Nigerians associated with TOTAL’s management to plead with the company to end the suffering they had imposed on Nigerians by fulfilling the terms of the said agreement.
Ogar further disclosed that the matter was brought before the DSS by PENGASSAN officials in November, following which the Service summoned TOTAL’s Managing Director, Elizabeth Proust, saying the oil giant’s hard stance nature triggered the industrial action.
“The issue is the ongoing strike by NUPENG and PENGASSAN which is biting hard on all Nigerians. We want to state that in November, 2014, PENGASSAN had written the Service to make a formal complaint about the transfer of Elo Victor Ogbonda to Lagos from Port Harcourt by TOTAL after she was elected as a zonal executive of the union”, said Ogar.
“Consequently, this Service summoned the managing director of TOTAL, Elizabeth Proust, on November 5, 2014, to resolve the dispute. It was agreed that Ogbonda would be re-instated, posted back to Port Harcourt and granted leave of absence for the period she would serve as an executive of PENGASSAN”.
Ogar said that PENGASSAN later informed the DSS that TOTAL had reneged on its promise to recall Ogbonda.
“Consequently, this Service contacted TOTAL and was informed that the company will not go back on its sack order. All entreaties to the company failed, thus culminating in the current strike and the attendant fuel scarcity”, Ogar said.