LAGOS – The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) yesterday advised the Federal Government to address grievances of oil workers unions that threatened to embark on indefinite industrial action from today, Monday, December 15.
This plea was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the Congress of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Lagos.
The communiqué was jointly signed by the TUC President, Comrade Bobboi Kaigama, and General Secretary, Mr Musa Lawal.
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) had issued a notice to commence an indefinite strike on Monday if their grievances were not addressed.
The communiqué said that the industrial action would cripple the economy and bring untold hardship to millions of Nigerians who were managing to cope under the current economic condition.
“The NEC in session expressed concern on the reported attitude and response of the  concerned management and government agencies to the barrage of national issues, oil and gas policy and institutional issues as well as cases of unfair labour practices.
“The NEC also notes the strong efforts made by NUPENG/PENGASSAN to internally resolve the reported grievance at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Petroleum Resources and other agencies which the concerned managements severally frustrated.
“ NEC therefore urges government to attend to all the reported issues as a matter of urgent national importance to avoid the backlash on the Nigerian public,’’ the communique said.
It said that the global fall in the crude oil price should be translated into the reduction in the pump price of refined products in the country.
“The congress expresses dismay that the prices of refined petroleum products have remained unchanged despite the significant fall of crude oil prices which the CBN Governor acknowledges as a steady one.
“We call on the government to direct the appropriate agencies to respond by adjusting the pump price of petroleum products as this will go a long way In ameliorating the impact on the purchasing power by the devaluation of the naira,’’ it added.
The congress also urged the Federal Government and the National Assembly to expedite action on the passage of the PIB into law.
It said that the congress would be left with no other option than to embark on an industrial action to press for the PIB passage.
The congress, however, commended the initiative of the Federal Government on the local content policy aimed at developing the entrepreneurial and manpower capacity and expertise of Nigerians.