National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has suspended the picketing of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) formations nationwide following the intervention by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chief Emeka Wogu.
THISDAY learnt that Wogu had at a meeting with both parties in Abuja directed the management of Shell to recall all sacked officers and members on or before December 4, 2012. NUPENG had last week paralsyed business activities of Shell offices over alleged anti-labour practices by management of the oil giant.
The union accused Shell of being the major purveyor of enslaving Nigerians through exploitative contract and agency labour employment otherwise known as outsourcing. It explained that the contract workers in Shell have no conditions of service, adding that when their contracts are terminated, they are not paid severance benefits other than one month's salary irrespective of the number of years in service.
In a bid to forestall any industrial crisis, the labour minister last Friday waded into the management/labour dispute shortly after the union leaders threatened to embark on a nationwide strike. At the meeting the minister directed management of Shell to immediately recall the sacked union members in the interest of industrial peace and harmony.
Earlier, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) had alerted the Federal Government of its determination to join NUPENG in every protest and action to be undertaken in the event that the management of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) fails to recall the sacked NUPENG members as directed by the Minister of Labour and Productivity.
A statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of PENGASSAN, Zaid Kolawole, said the protest and industrial actions will be jointly planned under the NUPENGASSAN platform to ensure that Shell management complies with the Minister's directive.