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Telecoms workers begin strike tomorrow over anti-labour practices

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DPR to engage PENGASSAN, oil firm over breaches
Private Telecommunications and Communications Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PTECSSAN) has mobilised its members for a three-day warning strike on Tuesday, June 15 (tomorrow) at midnight over alleged violation of labour laws and disregard for decent conditions of employment.

In a statement made available to The Guardian, the association disclosed that the decision was reached at its emergency National Administrative Council (NAC) meeting and further endorsed by its National Executive Council (NEC) in line with the directives of both organs.

President of PTECSSAN, Opeyemi Tomori and General Secretary, Okonu Abdullahi, said the strike had become inevitable due to increasing precarious working conditions in the sector and disregard for the nation’s laws and institutions by employers.

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They said if their demands were not met before Monday, June 14, 2021 (today), the union would go ahead with the warning industrial action.

They alleged that workers in the sector were being treated like slaves in spite of their efforts to draw the attention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy and the House Committee on Communications to their plight to no avail.

PTECSSAN also alleged poor and discriminatory remuneration, abuse of expatriate quota, intimidation, harassment and verbal assaults of employees, breach of freedom of association and right of workers to organise, among other breaches.
BESIDES, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has invited the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and an oil services firm, National Oilwell Varco (NOV) for a meeting to resolve an impasse between them.

The DPR had earlier fined NOV $250,000 over its anti-labour practices, especially for sacking 23 Nigerian employees without due process in March 2020.

The notice of the meeting, which was contained in a letter signed by Ciroma A. I. for the director and chief executive officer of DPR, will hold in Abuja on June 23, 2021.

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In a demand notice, the DPR restated that it would not hesitate to sanction any oil company that failed to comply with directive and provisions of Article 15(a) of DPR regulations and Article 20 of Nigeria’s Labour law.

It added that NOV Oil had been flouting its directives since 2014 and 2015 to put in place a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) before disengaging workers.

This followed as PENGASSAN has also threatened to shut down the nation’s oil and gas industry if the management of NOV Oil sack any of its members again.

Lagos Zonal Chairman of PENGASSAN, Eyam Abeng, stated this while responding to issues of anti-labour practices by NOV oil and gas and urged the DPR to impose further sanctions on the firm if it continues to flout the country’s labour laws and regulations.

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