4th August 2021
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Oil workers body welcomes gov’t directive on wages, benefits

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Thursday, July 22, 2021

Oil workers in an oilfield in South Sudan | Credit | Hiba Morgan/Aljazeera

The Workers Trade Union of Petroleum and Mining industry has welcomed the government’s directives to oil operators to implement the Unified Human Resource Policy Manual.

“This is another milestone on the implementation of human resource policy manual 2020 and I think this is very good,” the body said.

On July 15, the Minister of Petroleum ordered all the oil operating companies to implement the new policy and local content regulation of 2019.

According to the order seen by Eye Radio, the implementation takes effect from December 21, 2020, when the policy was first decided.

It cited the Council of Ministers resolution of June 18, 2021, as the basis for asking “all Joint Operating Companies [DPOC, GPOC & SPOC] to implement” the order “with immediate effect without any hindrance.”

The policy calls for the reduction of expenditure on the cost of air tickets, accommodation, visas, and group life insurance for expatriates and secondees.

It further orders the harmonization of salary structure applicable to both national and international staff. It also stated that the unification of salary structure among the Joint Operating Companies shall be reviewed and communicated to them.

The development comes after the national employees of Dar Petroleum Operating Company went on strike over the implementation of the policy in March this year.

They demanded the implementation of an agreed salary structure, allowances, loans, social insurance funds, and personal income tax.

The oil workers insisted that the unified human resources manual is a tool that will guarantee the rights of the workers and the companies are respected.

On July 9, President Salva Kiir in his independence day message called on the Ministry of Petroleum to effect the changes required in the manual.

Minister Puot Kang now directs all the joint operating companies to adhere to the order.

“If the Joint Operation Companies implement this order, I think our issues as workers in the oil and gas sector in South Sudan will be resolved,” said Dr. Ater Yout Riak, Secretary-General of the Workers Trade Union of Petroleum and Mining.

Since 2019, South Sudanese nationals working in the oil field have been demanding payments in US dollars, health insurance, promotion, and capacity-building opportunities –just like their colleagues from foreign countries.

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