ONITSHA, Nigeria  – Nigerian oil workers at Exxon Mobil have decided to end a strike over sackings of staff after earlier agreeing to halt crude oil production, a union official said on Wednesday.

“Production will resume any moment,” Lumumba Okugbara, acting general secretary of oil labour union PENGASSAN, told Reuters. “We just rose from a meeting with the management and the issues that had led to the labour impasse have been resolved after the minister of petroleum intervened.”

He did not say by how much crude production had been affected since the union shut down Exxon Mobil’s Nigeria headquarters in Lagos to protest against the sackings of more than 100 employees last week.

“It was not a total shut down,” he said, adding that workers at Exxon facilities had downed tools when the company handed out sacking letters on Monday.

“I cannot tell you for now whether the company has agreed to stop sacking of workers or not but the doors for further negotiations are open,” Okugbara said.

Exxon could not immediately be reached for comment.

Oil traders said the February oil loading programme at Exxon’s Qua Iboe terminal had been delayed for an unknown reason.

Nigerian labour unions have in recent months criticised oil companies for laying off workers. The industry has been hit by low crude prices and a wave of militant attacks in Nigeria’s oil hub, the Niger Delta, hampering production capability.

(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu, Alex Lawler and Ulf Laessing; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jane Merriman)

Source: Reuters



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