A Nigerian oil worker union has reportedly asked for the country’s government to step in after 3,000 workers were laid off.
National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas president Igwe Achese told Reuters that the union wants the government to “call” multinational energy companies “to order” after thousands of jobs were reportedly cut.
According to the Cable, Achese said that workers for Chevron, ExxonMobil, Pan Ocean, Sapiem Ground Petroleum and Hercules Offshore Nigeria Limited have been fired.
Those companies have not commented on the matter.
“As we speak, many companies have left and many others are winding up to go,” Achese told the Cable.
Achese added that some of the workers were fired without receiving entitlements.
Achese told Reuters that his union has given the government a 21-day ultimatum to issue a protest tied to the layoffs.
Achese has not said if the union will order work stoppages after the ultimatum deadline has expired.
“I don’t want to use the word ‘strike’ now,” Achese told Reuters.
Although Nigeria is the largest crude producer in Africa, militant attacks have disrupted up to 750,000 barrels per day of production this year.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, international oil firms are concerned that proposed changes to the fiscal terms governing the country’s energy industry may make some projects commercially unviable.
The changes are part of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), a piece of legislation initially proposed in 2008.
The PIB could implement changes in tax and royalty structures and require international oil firms to make mandatory contributions of 10 percent of their monthly net profits to the Petroleum Host Communities Fund.
According to a social media post seen by Reuters, Nigeria’s Oil Ministry said the country is currently producing 1.9 million bpd, down from a high of 2.2 million bpd at the start of 2016.