Financial Times: Nigerian unions aim to halt oil exports: “Mr Oshiomhole said the Federal High Court was due today to hear a case brought by Shell, which accounts for almost half the country's daily oil output, in an attempt to stop industrial action by its workers.” (ShellNews.net)
By Michael Peel in Lagos
Published: November 1 2004
Nigeria's main trade union body and a coalition of civil society groups last night called their latest general strike over rising fuel prices and said they would for the first time aim to halt the country's near-2.5m barrel-a-day crude oil exports.
The umbrella Nigeria Labour Congress said it would "confront" Royal Dutch/Shell, the country's leading oil producer, because the company had proved itself an "enemy of Nigerians" by taking court action to prevent its workers from going on strike.
The news will add to international concerns about Nigerian supplies, which have been threatened with disruption over the past month by a previous general strike and by an abortive offensive promised by a militia leader in the oil-producing Niger Delta region.
"Oil must not be insulated from any protest," said Adams Oshiomhole, Nigeria Labour Congress president. "Otherwise the government will not listen."
The strike would start on November 16 and go on indefinitely until the government reversed September's 25 per cent fuel price rise, Mr Oshiomhole said.
Mr Oshiomhole said the Federal High Court was due today to hear a case brought by Shell, which accounts for almost half the country's daily oil output, in an attempt to stop industrial action by its workers.
His organisation would wait until after the hearing to decide what actions to take against Shell. Company officials in Nigeria and the UK declined to comment or were unavailable.