PENGASSAN Threatens To Extend Strike …As Total Delcares Action Illegal

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The ongoing strike by Senior Nigerian Employees of French oil firm, Total E & P Nigeria may lead to disruption of the company’s oil production as the Union has threatened to extend its strike to production locations.
Sources informed The Tide that the French oil firm is currently engaged in a “fierce battle” with senior Nigerian employees of the company which is now threatening the company’s crude oil production of over 200,000 barrels per day
Already, the company’s personnel who are members of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) have forcefully shut down offices in their Port Harcourt headquarters and Lagos annex.
The Tide learnt that the shutdown has affected power supplies to critical areas as well as communication links to operational sites of the oil company.
Although a source at Total said the strike was yet to disrupt oil production, but revealed that if the situation was not urgently resolved, the union was poised to extend the strike to the company’s oil production locations.
It was gathered that the cause of the crisis is the implementation of Total’s group projects in IST and finance divisions of the company, which the union believed would lead to job cuts.
The company however described the union’s strike as “illegal” and noted that the committees constituted were supposed to commence work this week.
A statement signed by the External Relations Manager, Charles Ebereonwu said the firm was ready for negotiation on the global implementation of the Total Group’s projects in IST and Finance Division of the company.
According to him,” Management is disposed and willing to dialogue on the specific areas of concern as raised by the Association.
Ebereonwu reassured that the implementation of these Group projects would not entail job loss to any member of the Association but regretted that PENGASSAN had not only directed the stoppage of work in all office locations of the company, “it has also deliberately blocked all channels of communication with management and as such no progress can be made.
” The action has forced the company into a downgraded situation “with potential loss of value to all stakeholders”, he said.
Total is Nigeria’s fourth biggest oil production company.The French firm is hoping to bring on stream later this year, the giant Egina deep water oil field that will add 200,000 b/d of oil to Nigeria’s production.
Union officials were not immediately available for comment