- Posted June 24, 2014 by
Algeria Expats Paid 10 Times that of Workers, Struggle Ensues.
Employees of several foreign oil companies in the Southern part of Algeria seek to initiate a strike movement over the next few weeks, represented by El Hachemi Abderahmane. They will protest about their work conditions and the income disparity between works and expats.
After the serious protest movements by the unemployed and the tragic event in Ghardaïa, the workers in the foreign gas and petroleum firm take over. They require the same salary as that held by the expats. They threaten to go on strike if their terms are not met. A network of national workers will lead manifestations within fourteen oil sites which are spread out amongst four Southern departments of the country; Adrar, Illizi, Tamnrasset and Ouargla. The work sites are located in desert areas where the workers are strained in unfavorable working conditions. The contestation was approved by 3000 national employees. The Algerian workers coordinating committee wants either salaries of the national employees and the expats one should be estimated according to their competences but not their status or nationality or the creation of a commission to conduct proper investigations on the financial statements of the expatriates. They ask for salary adjustment and are expecting an improvement in the financial situation since the incomes of the expats are higher than theirs. The latter are paid ten times higher than the Algerian workers. The committee also demands the establishment of a legal work contract under the duration of projects but not on short-term contracts forced.
Sources from the Xinhua agency stipulated that some of the workers were victims of layoffs. The human right has been “stamped.” The right of equal treatment within the company is not followed anymore, added the victims. Their layoffs were based on the fact that they advocated their rights to fair compensation.
The economy of Algeria is mostly based on the exploration and exploitation of the hydrocarbons. These natural reserves represent 96% of the Algerian exportation. The multinational corporations like Total, Sinopec, Halliburton or BP are joint venture with the national company, Sonatrach. They carry out together the exploration and transportation activities of gas and oil. If the strike takes place, the petroleum firm will be in be viewed less favorably, which would result in reductions of oil production. This bodes unfavorably for the country as the economic situation in the country and the national social security system would be at stake. Another risk to the country is that this worker manifestation would probably lead to various forms of discrimination, especially xenophobia.