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Nigerian Oil Union Threatens to Join General Strike - 2004-10-06

Nigeria's main oil workers' union says it will join a national strike set to begin next week unless the government agrees to talks on rising fuel prices.

The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) says it is mobilizing its members throughout the country to participate in the strike beginning Monday.

The strike was called by the country's umbrella union movement, the Nigeria Labor Congress, to protest a 15 percent hike in fuel prices.

Unions have organized several strikes this year. They say fuel price increases have contributed to a rise in poverty and inflation.

The government says the price hikes are part of an economic reform program that will help to pay for more social programs.