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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03LAGOS1899
2003-09-10 11:57:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Consulate Lagos
Cable title:  

NIGERIA: UNIONS MAY EXPAND WORK ACTIONS OVER FEAR

Tags:   ELAB  EPET  KDEM  NI  PGOV  PREL 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L LAGOS 001899 

SIPDIS


LONDON FOR GURNEY, PARIS FOR NEARY
DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY AND GEORGE PERSON
USDOL WASDC FOR ROBERT YOUNG PRIORITY


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2013
TAGS: ELAB EPET KDEM NI PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: UNIONS MAY EXPAND WORK ACTIONS OVER FEAR

OF JOB LOSS IN THE OIL INDUSTRY


C O N F I D E N T I A L LAGOS 001899

SIPDIS


LONDON FOR GURNEY, PARIS FOR NEARY
DOE FOR CAROLYN GAY AND GEORGE PERSON
USDOL WASDC FOR ROBERT YOUNG PRIORITY


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2013
TAGS: ELAB EPET KDEM NI PGOV PREL
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: UNIONS MAY EXPAND WORK ACTIONS OVER FEAR

OF JOB LOSS IN THE OIL INDUSTRY



1. Leaders from the National Union of Petroleum and Gas
Workers (NUPENG) and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior
Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) are meeting in Benin
City to discuss cooperative action amid reports that the
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC),
ChevronTexaco, and Shell plan to reorganize their respective
operations. Workers fear the reorganizations will lead to
substantial layoffs and reduce promotion prospects for
Nigerian employees.



2. Through its "Exploration and Production Globalization
Project" Shell has already begun restructuring to promote
greater efficiency. This has led to an on-going lockout of
offices by its white-collar union employees in Lagos, Port
Harcourt, and Warri. Production has not been affected.
While the NNPC has confirmed its federally mandated plans to
reorganize, it contends that there are no plans to layoff
workers. Union leaders, however, allege that NNPC plans to
layoff approximately 2000 employees.



3. ChevronTexaco is reportedly meeting with PENGASSAN and
NUPENG representatives to ensure that the strike at Shell
does not spread to ChevronTexaco workers, who have already
called on the company's management to review its
restructuring plans or face industrial action. Although
Chevron has not officially announced plans to reorganize,
sources within the company said privately that they are
reviewing possible actions to streamline their operation and
increase efficiency.



4. COMMENT: Averting a widespread strike may be difficult
given the seemingly hard-line positions of the major players.
In addition to the concerns about massive layoffs, the
Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) last week warned the GON that it
would not tolerate another increase in the price of petroleum
products, which President Obasanjo has publicly suggested is
forthcoming. A significant hike in government-set fuel prices
resulted in an eight-day nationwide strike in late June and
early July. Ultimately, the GON relented and reduced the
amount of the fuel price increase. Obasanjo is now hinting at
recouping the amount cut back earlier, as refined petroleum
products are still under-priced. Increased tensions were
evident when a scheduled tour of Shell facilities in the Port
Harcourt and Warri areas for Lagos diplomats was suddenly
canceled last week. Shell's Managing Director of External
Affairs confirmed to EconOff that Shell is in the process of
"downsizing" and considered the situation at its facilities
too volatile to continue with the planned tour, although
violent ethnic clashes in Warri recently would also have
given Shell reason to cancel VIP tours there. END COMMENT.
HINSON-JONES