The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says it may embark on nationwide industrial action over the attack on members of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) protesting in Kaduna state.
Williams Akporeha, NUPENG national president, said the union members should be on the red alert as they could shut their services “at very short notice if situation arises”.
The labour union are on a five-day warning strike over the sack of civil servants by the state government.
Ayuba Suleiman, NLC chairman in the state, had said the unions were committed to the principle of dialogue and social bargaining for the benefit of the disengaged workers.
But the state government said the move was necessitated because of its high wage bill.
Following the strike, Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor, accused the NLC members of economic sabotage and declared their leaders wanted.
In a statement, Suleiman said NUPENG is “deeply saddened” with the attack, and asked the federal government to “immediately call el-Rufai to order.”
“Consequently, the Union reiterates that no Labour Leaders or workers as the case may be, be harmed, harassed, maimed, humiliated or victimized during this 5-day peaceful protests in the State,” he said.
“Our Union is raising this alarm following the very reliable report of the clandestine move of Governor Nasir El-RUfai to hurt and put the lives of NLC President, Comrade Ayuba Wabba and other Labour Leaders to danger in his usual blind egotistical style of running government in the State
“NUPENG, therefore, warns that if any harm is inflicted on any of the members of organized Labour, the Leadership of the Union will not hesitate to call on all our members throughout the nation for a total shut down of all our services in the upstream, midstream and downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.
“In the light of the above, we are therefore putting all NUPENG members nationwide on red alert and may at very short notice of five hours call for a nationwide industrial action if situation arises.”
The NUPENG president added that their solidarity with the NLC remains constant as it “makes us strong.”
The union already shut all fuel depots and filling stations in Kaduna over the strike.