(Adds Exxon comment)
LAGOS Dec 16 Striking workers have shut down
U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp's Nigeria headquarters
in Lagos after more than 100 employees were fired, a labour
union said on Friday.
Employees went on strike after Exxon Mobil on Monday began
to issue letters to around 150 Nigerian workers without
informing the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association
of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Lumumba Okugbawa, the union's acting
general secretary, said.
Exxon Mobil said it was aware of "a unilateral industrial
action" by the union without commenting on the reported
"We will continue to monitor the situation," the firm said.
"We remain committed to safety of our personnel, protection of
our facilities and the environment."
Labour unions have in recent months criticised oil firms 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, choking production capability.
The U.S. oil company had wanted to start making employees
redundant since last year, and was in talks with PENGASSAN,
which lobbied for voluntary redundancies, Okugbawa said.
"Suddenly this week the management began an
involuntary redundancy exercise sacking workers whether they
want to leave or not, thus repudiating our agreement with them,"
(Reporting by Anamesere Igboeroteonwu; Additional reporting by
Libby George in London; Writing by Paul Carsten; Editing by
Susan Thomas and Mark Potter)