Negotiations Between Nigerian Unions & Transocean on Hold

Talks between two Nigerian labor unions and Transocean have reached a standstill and negotiations are scheduled to resume on May 23rd. Two rounds of talks were held on Thursday and Friday of last week. Union officials claim Transocean was planning to lay off many of its employees following a recent strike on four offshore rigs which trapped around 250 workers on board for over two weeks.

Although neither Joseph Akinlaja, Akinlaja, Secretary General of NUPENG nor Transocean would give further details of the reported lay-off plans, other union officials said the firm was planning to let go approximately 300 workers. A seven-member committee has been put together to discuss the crisis, made up of two representatives of NUPENG, two from Transocean and two from the white-collar Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN). Transocean has agreed not to proceed with any lay-offs until the talks were over, Akinlaja said. "The committee met yesterday. The meeting adjourned until Friday next week," he said. "All the sides agreed that nothing untoward should happen before the meeting." Akinlaja declined to comment on whether the oil unions would order strike action should the negotiations fail.