The Federal Government on Wednesday reached an agreement with some major oil marketers to recall sacked workers as demanded by the sector’s labour unions.
This was the outcome of a reconvened meeting between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige and the Petroleum Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN), Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and representatives of some oil companies.
The minister warned indigenous and international oil companies that Nigeria would not tolerate indiscriminate sack of workers, notwithstanding the economic situation.
According to him, one of the cardinal objectives of the present administration is to create jobs.
It would be recalled that the Management of Universal Energy Ltd was alleged to have sacked 20 of the 22 NUPENG members in the company in preference to contract workers.
The unions also accused another company, FUGRO Nig. Ltd, of sacking its members and coercing them to sign severance letters and unilaterally terminating 25 members of staff out of which six are executive members of PENGASSAN and NUPENG.
It also claimed that Halliburton threatened to reduce its workforce.
Speaking at the end of the meeting, Mr. Ngige said: “After a long deliberation, we resolved all the contentious issues. FUGRO has to revert to status quo and open up discussions on the redundancy situation with the union. They have two weeks to report back to the ministry.
“Universal Energy also has to revert to status quo meaning that the retrenched staff members have to return to work. They are expected to open up a fresh redundancy talks to be monitored by the South-south zone of the Ministry of Labour in Uyo and give us a feedback within two weeks”.
The minister commended PENGASSAN for its cooperation towards finding a permanent solution to the disputes in the sector.