Exxon staff on strike in Nigeria over job losses

ExxonMobil management staff in Nigeria have begun an indefinite strike after dozens of local employees were sacked, but oil production has not been affected, the company and a union official said Thursday. “The workers are on strike following the directive of their union. But I can confirm to you that oil production is not affected because our facilities are offshore,” ExxonMobil spokesman Ozemoya Okordion said. He said administrative operations at the company’s offices in Eket in southern Akwa Ibom State, Lagos and the oil city of Port Harcourt had been halted as a result of the strike that was called on Wednesday.

“Union members are blocking the gates to prevent workers from entering,” he said, adding negotiations were underway. A union leader who asked not to be named said the workers launched the action in protest against the sack of 84 Nigerian employees of the US group. “We have asked them to reinstate the workers as the only condition for a settlement,” the official from the white-collar PENGASSAN union said. Neither the company spokesman nor the union official provided details on why the workers were released.