By Fakhri al-Arashi
Petro Masial employees went on strike last Thursday leading towards the suspension of oil operation and production activities from block 14. Petro Masial is the second Yemeni government producing oil from Masila basin and it’s the core company that stores and exports the oil exports of other companies in Hadhramout. The Yemen Government terminated the contract of the ex-operator Canadian Nexen during November of last year after 25 years of operation.
The syndicate of Petro Masila Block 14 employees issued a statement that it has the full right to go for comprehensive strike if the Ministry of Oil and Minerals does not act in accordance to the agreement signed on January 7th, 2012 between the Minister of Oil and Minerals, Acting-President of Petro Masial and the syndicate on behalf of employees.
The syndicate accused the ministry’s accounting department of postponing the payment due which is part of rights of the company’s employees.
“The accounting department refused to respect the minister’s promises to pass the agreement between the syndicate and minister according to Articles 2 and 7 of last of January’s agreement,” said the statement. The syndicate calls upon the minister of oil to keep his promises and stressed that he be held accountable on those who block the implementation of the agreement.
Those who were ruing after renewing the contract of Nexen are behind the delay of paying the employees their rights despite the agreement.
The agreement signed in January stipulated that the fulfillment of the minister’s instruction to pay the employees would include the reward of the end of services, salary on each year of service on the US Dollars, one month salary bonus for the performance of the year 2011, paying over time for all employees who are due, and pay the differences of the exchange rate between US Dollar and Yemeni Ryals. The agreement also includes increasing staff salaries and initiating new contracts with Petro Mesila employees as per the Labor Law no. 5 of 1995. The agreement gives employees the full right to resume the strike if these articles are not fulfilled before January 16th.