Bloomberg News

Gabon Oil Union Seeks to Oust Illegal Workers With Strike

November 04, 2011

Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Gabon’s National Organization of Oil Employees is calling for as many as 2,000 foreigners it says are illegally working in the industry to be replaced with local labor, said Yann Anguilet, the group’s spokesman.

The union, which has 6,000 registered members, will hold a strike on Nov. 6 to pressure the central African nation’s government to find the workers and force them “to leave the country,” he said in an interview in the oil city of Port- Gentil yesterday.

There are about 1,000 local workers who have “profiles corresponding to the positions held by expatriates,” Anguilet said. “Replacement is possible and will be made gradually.”

In April, workers went on a four-day strike over the same issue, calling it off when the Gabonese government pledged to identify and deport “illegal workers,” said Jean Paulin Ekua Sima, an adviser to Prime Minister Paul Biyoghe-Mba.

Companies including Total SA, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Tullow Oil Plc had their operations affected during the work stoppage. The government lost as much as 60 billion CFA francs ($126 million) in revenue during the strike, according to the union, which is known by its French acronym, ONEP.

--Editors: Emily Bowers, Karl Maier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Antoine Lawson in Libreville via Accra at ebowers1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Antony Sguazzin at asguazzin@bloomberg.net


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