Nigeria: Exxon Mobil Oil workers started a strike, dissatisfied by work conditions

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Summary of Today’s Important Economic News:


  • Retail sales set to recover in second quarter
  • Fed will keep eye on inflation data
  • Global stock mixed ahead of key U.S. data
  • Oil in track for weekly gains of 3%
  • S. – China trade relations ‘hitting a new high’
  • Gold prices move higher amid U.S. political turmoil

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Nigeria Exxon Oil : Bad working conditions

The Exxon Mobil Corporation workers in Nigeria started a strike. Being dissatisfied with the current working conditions, and the way they are treated in their daily operations. The idea of starting the strike came from these bad handling of everyday operating routines.


Firstly, the Labor union of Nigeria gave so many critics to Nigerian Oil companies. Because of their rude behavior on workers. The use of workers in such disrespectful way lead not only to one, but to a number of strikes in last few months.

“Members of the union started strikes in December, when 150 workers were sacked from their work.”

The chairman of the Lagos zone of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), Abel Agarin, said his workers protested for the first time in December. They were hurt by the news that numbers of their cooperates lost jobs. He said 82 of these sacked individuals were PENGASSAN’s workers.

“We want to bring them back to work, and if that is not possible we want a proper severance package for them.” said Agarin

He also led around 50 protesters in the commercial capital, supporting their ideas.

Places where previous strikes took place

PENGASSAN said strikes took place in a few cities and Nigeria states including:  Lagos, Bonny, Akwa Ibom and Port Harcourt.

There weren’t any impacts on Oil production. Strikes are not affecting the real oil output. Said a Exxon Mobile representative.

“It is still to early to say if strikes will affect the Nigerian Oil production. As time goes by, there will probably be some real consequences. “

Regarding a period of late 2016, and strikes which took place then, we can see that the previous strikes did actually impact the outputs. Not only they affected the output, but they also lead to weeks-long shipping delays. Causing the delayed trade.


Rising Tensions in Grasberg; Mine workers planning one-month strike in May


Grasberg Mine, Indonesia

Tensions are increasing around Grasberg, the world’s second-biggest copper mine. It is happening because operator Freeport laid off thousands of workers. In order to retain losses from an underway argument with the Indonesian government, over mining rights.

Firstly, copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc. warned it will punish workers for absenteeism at its Indonesian unit. Secondly, yesterday, one of its main unions announced plans to go on a one-month strike. Following, they are not satisfied with the employment conditions.

A strike could impact Freeport efforts to ramp up production. Company is expecting to soon affix agreements with Jakarta to allow it to temporarily resume copper concentrate exports.

“Workers were very absent over the last several days.” “We are tracking absenteeism, and disciplinary actions will be enforced. Under the terms of the Collective Labor Agreement.”

Cutting the workforce


Last week Freeport has discharged over 10 percent of its workforce of 32,000. This number will grow until its dispute with the government comes fully resolved.

Further adding to tensions around Grasberg, clash injured several Freeport workers and police officers in Papua on Thursday, when officers fired rubber bullets at demonstrators.

“Company is giving efforts to reduce its workforce. It has extensive impacts on workers and their families”. The workers union spoke about this, stating it is not a solution.

Workers are worrying about the discharges. “Because there are no limits or specific criteria on workers who will be furloughed.” They requested an end to the furlough policy. And informed Freeport of their plans to strike for 30 days. Beginning from May the 1st.


‘Shaken & Confused Workers’


“Efforts by the company to cut costs and reduce numbers of workers, made a fiasco among them.” It led to agitated tensions and their determination to protest.

One worker added that in his view Freeport was only doing what it needed to survive. And that cutting costs is one of the strategies to turn around company’s conditions. He said there are many workers who would not join the strike.

Thursday some workers “were carrying out acts of anarchy … so police took action and fired rubber bullets on them.” Solossa said the clash injured four workers and seven police officers. But that the controvert was not related to the planned strike.


The incident

Timika Police Chief confirmed the details of the incident. He added that incident included roughly 1,000 demonstrators. Also when the tear gas was fired there were many of them present.

New rules demanded the Arizona-based company to adopt a special license. Affected by that Indonesia blocked Freeport’s copper concentrate exports in January. It payed new taxes and royalties. Divested a 51 percent stake in its operations, and relinquished arbitration rights. This stoppage made hundreds of millions of dollars cost. As for the company, also for Indonesia. But negotiations over sticking points will continue for the next six months at least.

“We have the right to commence arbitration in 120 days if no agreement is reached.” (Freeport saying to Jakarta)

In the end, it is all up to workers now. They will decide their own destiny. But the fact that many of them are discharged from their workplaces is scary. There are families behind who depend on these wages. And there is also cruel fact of a cold economy. The costs must be cut, if the company plans to get over the wounds and bloom. Grasberg is going to be very agitated in the next few months. We will see the outcome.