11 March 2013, News Wires – Gabon’s powerful ONEP oil workers’ union said it had begun an unlimited strike to demand the application of a 2010 agreement signed by the government on working conditions.
“We have started an unlimited strike from Saturday,” ONEP spokesman, Hans Landry Ivala, told Reuters over the weekend. “We have called on all our members to observe the strike.”
ONEP is demanding the application of a November 2010 agreement between the government and oil workers, guaranteeing better labour terms and greater use of Gabonese staff, Reuters reported.
Ivala said the strike was being followed at 90% of companies operating in Gabon and it had slowed down their operations. It was not immediately possible to verify this, Reuters added.
A government official in the oil sector had no immediate comment for the news agency.
The central African nation of roughly 1.5 million people produces about 240,000 barrels per day of oil from a sector dominated by France’s Total and Shell.
The oil revenues contribute about 60% of the state budget in Gabon, one of the few sub-Saharan African countries to have a dollar-denominated bond.