Nigerian oil unions say talks planned with govt on Chevron labour issues

ABUJA (Reuters) – Nigeria’s two main oil unions said on Wednesday they will hold talks with Chevron and the government to address a labour dispute with the U.S. oil major.

The Chevron Pascagoula Refinery is pictured as Tropical Storm Gordon approaches Pascagoula, Mississippi, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman

The talks, set for Thursday, come after the unions threatened on Saturday to go on nationwide strike over the dispute with Chevron, though that has not yet begun.

Chevron did not immediately respond to request for comment.

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) have accused Chevron of attempting to sack thousands of Nigerian workers, in violation of their contracts.

“The federal government through the Ministry of Labour are intervening,” said William Akporeha, NUPENG’s president, in a message. “We are meeting tomorrow,” he said.

PENGASSAN’s General Secretary, Lumumba Okugbawa, in a separate message, also confirmed the talks.

Nigeria, an OPEC member, is Africa’s largest oil producer and crude sales make up around two-thirds of government revenues in West Africa’s largest economy. The dilapidated state of its refineries means it imports most of its refined fuel.

Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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