Monday, June 7, 2010

Shell Nigeria Pipeline Guards Threaten to Strike Over Pay

By Chido Okafor

(Bloomberg) -- Security workers guarding pipelines at Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s operations in western Nigeria gave management a seven-day ultimatum to increase their pay before they embark on a strike.

“Unless your authority addresses our plight within seven days, we may have no option than to stay out of work indefinitely,” William Guwakumor, chairman of the National Association of Surveillance Workers, said in a statement distributed in the southern town of Warri yesterday.

About 740 workers at six oil platforms in the company’s Northern Swamp operation want their 15,000 naira ($99) monthly salary reviewed, he said.

Shell’s network of pipelines in the area was among those attacked by militants before an amnesty between rebels and the government was declared last year. Supplies of oil in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, recovered to more than 2 million barrels a day in April from a 15-year low of 1.75 million barrels a day in July, according to Bloomberg estimates.

Shell produces 25 percent of what it needs to sustain the operation, General Manager Cor Zegelaar said at a meeting in March.

“Our existence is at stake; we need to produce a minimum of 400,000 barrels per day to support our business here but in the last four years we are able to produce just quarter of this figure,” he said.

--Editors: Ana Monteiro, Heather Langan.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chido Okafor in Warri, Nigeria, via Lagos at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at

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