Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan oil workers have resumed strike over unpaid wages after oil companies failed to meet their demand. In July, oil workers laid down their tools both at headquarters in Juba and at the oil fields demanding better pay and implementation of a new human resource policy.
A few days later, the staff resumed work after reaching deal with the Ministry of Petroleum and Oil Companies. They also agreed on a new salary structure, allowances, loans, social insurance fund, and personal income tax.
The Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC) President Hisham Basar issued an internal memo to Oil Companies to implement the new policy but later backtracked and refused to sign the payroll after partners’ rejected the new policy in their letter dated 26/9/2021.
The workers said partners are undermining of sovereignty of the country shown in their unwillingness to respect guidelines, policies, regulations, and laws of the country.
“Partners undermining the council of ministers resolutions, ministerial orders and Ministry of Petroleum and their illusion of acting as government by issuing directives to Joint Operating Companies for immediate implementation without agreement and knowledge of the Ministry of Petroleum as they did,” the group said in a statement issued on Monday.
They said that they have been working for three months without salaries while being forced to take unfavorable loans by DPOC management instead of their legal salary.
“Policy vacuum in the Joint Operating Companies which could be taken advantage of by criminals to embezzle much-needed funds which our nation is in dire need of,” it said.
“Unwillingness of foreign partners to allow expatriates to pay personal income tax to the government. The amount of taxes evaded through this tax evasion runs in millions of dollars,” it added.
“We would like to state it unequivocally that we are not part of PCCA or any other political group in the country. We are oil industry professionals that are seeking solutions to industry petroleum since 2018.” It added.
South Sudan oil sector has been operating using Sudan human resource policy for the last ten years. The workers are demanding payment of benefits dating back to 2012, following an agreement reached between the Ministry of Petroleum and Joint Operating Companies (JOCs)
The GPOC is made up of four consortia-Malaysia’s Petronas, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), South Sudan State-Owned Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilpet) operating in blocks 1,2 and 4 in Unity State oil filed.