NUPENG vows to tackle sector’s challenges
• Honour ex-leaders at anniversary
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has pledged to tackle challenges confronting the sector. The President of the union, Williams Akporeha, also said the leadership of the union would continue to thread on the path laid down by its founding fathers, who fought doggedly for the protection of the masses.
Akporeha, who spoke recently at a programme to herald the 40th anniversary celebration of the union, coming up in December, with the theme, “NUPENG yesterday, today and tomorrow”, said the focus of the leadership under his watch is to ensure that workers in the oil and gas sector are protected with stable jobs.He noted that part of the challenges include contract staffing as well as preventing the employed ones from belonging to unions.
In his words: “This is part of the challenges I face and these are challenges I want to fight with my last blood. NUPENG will come out with several campaigns confirming that the union is still standing tall for the Nigerian populace.
“The union stands as a trade union, pressure group and as a civil society organisation. We are not only protecting oil and gas workers; we still have responsibility to also protect the common man on the street. This was seen from what our past leaders, who stood for the masses of the country. We will continue to hold our head high, as NUPENG will continue to move forward.”
Akporeha also recounted his experiences since 1992 when he joined the union rising through the ranks to become the National President, stated that he had embarked on a lot of struggles to protect workers’ interest.He explained that the protests, which NUPENG is known for are mostly foisted on it saying, “it is not that we enjoy calling for strike. I don’t think there is anybody that wants to be on the street, in the scourging sun to protest. But clearly if the foundation or the system is being threatened, we cannot but protest. And each time you see us on the street, you should know that the system is being threatened.”
He said former leaders; players in the industry and ordinary people that believed in the union’s struggle would be recognized and honoured during the anniversary.A highlight of the event was the unveiling of the 40th anniversary mascot by the leadership of the union.
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