Nigerian oil unions to meet on strike threat

Associated Press

Lagos, January 24:

Nigerian oil unions said they would decide on Monday whether to go ahead with a threatened strike after two oil executives blamed for cutting workers’ benefits ignored the unions’ ultimatum demanding they leave the country.

A strike could cut off more than 500,000 barrels per day of oil production in and around the oil hub city of Port Harcourt, in the southern Niger delta. Nigeria is the world’s seventh largest oil exporter, producing some 2.5 million barrels of crude per day. It is the fifth largest supplier of oil to the United States.

Nigeria’s two main oil unions demanded the two top managers of Malaysian-owned drilling firm WASCO leave Nigeria or they would go on strike in and around Port Harcourt.

The Sunday deadline passed and the two executives remained in the country. Brown Ogbeifun, president of white-collar oil union PENGASSAN, said that his union and the blue-collar NUPENG union would meet on Monday morning to decide whether to go on strike.