Shell Nigeria says union locks out senior staff
Wed August 27, 2003 01:06 PM ET
LAGOS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Nigeria's PENGASSAN senior oil workers union disrupted work at Shell RD.AS SHEL.L offices in Nigeria on Wednesday in a protest over planned company restructuring, a Shell spokesman said.
He said union officials spent much of the day briefing their members at Shell offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Warri, but the action had not affected oil production or loading.
"It was effectively a lockout. I myself have just managed to get into my office for the first time today," the spokesman told Reuters at around 5:30 p.m (1630 GMT).
He said Shell was implementing a "globalisation policy" in its Exploration and Production division but that the restructuring had not yet begun in the Nigeria operation.
He did not elaborate.
No PENGASSAN official was available immediately for comment, but industry officials said the union was concerned about possible job losses.
The local unit of Royal Dutch/Shell is Nigeria's biggest oil producer, accounting for nearly half the over two million barrels per day output of the world's eighth largest oil exporter.
The Shell spokesman said he expected further disruption from PENGASSAN, a powerful union whose members play a key role at export terminals.