Talks Continue Between DPR and PENGASSAN

PENGASSAN and DPR management have made progress in their negotiations to end the 5-day strike. The DPR management has agreed to pay all outstanding benefits to the workers by the end of February. However, the workers are continuing to strike while awaiting the outcome of a second meeting with the government in Abuja originally scheduled for Wednesday. "The outcome of the discussion in Abuja will determine whether we will suspend the action," Kenneth Narebor, general secretary of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, said in an interview. The proposed meeting in Abuja had to be delayed until Thursday because all members weren't able to reach Abuja in time for Wednesday's meeting.

The key issue for discussion at the Abuja meeting is autonomy for DPR a key government unit overseeing operations of multinational companies including ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, Shell and TotalFinaElf.