(Adds details, background)
ONITSHA, Nigeria Dec 21 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
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)