Global Processing

Nigeria Oil Union Puts Strike On Hold For Talks

March 24, 2008
According to Reuters, a Nigerian oil workers'' union said recently it would resume talks with the local arm of ExxonMobil over a labour dispute and said it was calling off the threat of industry-wide strike action for now.

Bayo Olowoshile, General Secretary of the senior oil workers'' union PENGASSAN, said union leaders and Exxon officials had agreed at talks with high-level government officials late last week to meet again in the capital Abuja.

The union had threatened to call a strike in the oil sector, but postponed a decision ahead of the talks with government and until after a series of Muslim and Christian public holidays which culminate on March 24.

The dispute is over the sacking of about 100 Nigerian workers by Exxon. The union had said the strike would affect the upstream and downstream sectors of the oil industry.

Strikes called by PENGASSAN and the junior oil workers NUPENG union in the past have delayed a limited portion of oil exports from the world''s eighth-biggest exporter, but in recent years the unions have failed to shut down the entire sector.

Oil companies have managed to maintain skeletal staff levels at production facilities during the most recent strikes, allowing them to limit the impact on output.