Union re­ports se­ries of labour abuses at Thai oil com­pany

The Myanmar Times - - News - ZAW ZAW HTWE za­wza­whtwe@mm­times.com

THAI­LAND’S big­gest oil com­pany is fac­ing a multi-pronged at­tack from the Myan­mar govern­ment and unions af­ter firing 18 Myan­mar en­gi­neer­ing tech­ni­cians from its off­shore in­stal­la­tion in Zawtika.

PTT Ex­plo­ration and Pro­duc­tion (PTTEP) is al­ready be­ing sued by Myan­mar’s Min­istry of Labour, Im­mi­gra­tion and Pop­u­la­tion for fail­ing to obey a labour ar­bi­tra­tion coun­cil rul­ing in favour of the tech­ni­cians. The com­pany has ap­pealed to the High Court for a re­view of the coun­cil’s rules.

The com­pany is work­ing off­shore sites at Zawtika and in the Gulf of Martaba.

On Septem­ber 20, Con­fed­er­a­tion of Trade Unions Myan­mar chair U Maung Maung an­nounced that CTUM had sub­mit­ted the case to the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion for ac­tion.

On the same day, the 18 Myan­mar engi­neers dis­missed by the com­pany held a press con­fer­ence at the Orchid Ho­tel to an­nounce that they were sup­port­ing the ap­proach to the ILO.

“The com­pany is dis­obey­ing the law. We will take PTTEP to the ILO. They fired the tech­ni­cians even as they were be­ing sued by our govern­ment,” said U Maung Maung.

CTUM is also dis­cussing the case with the ILO’s In­ter­na­tional Trade Union Con­fed­er­a­tion. The mat­ter is ex­pected to be dis­cussed at an ILO con­fer­ence in Novem­ber.

In ad­di­tion, CTUM has taken up the mat­ter with Thai­land’s Hu­man Rights Depart­ment and the State En­ter­prise Work­ers’ Re­la­tions Con­fed­er­a­tions of Thai­land with a view to tak­ing ac­tion against PTTEP un­der Thai law.

“We will also en­gage with other unions work­ing in PTTEP, as well as the com­pany’s part­ners. PTTEO is vi­o­lat­ing work­ers’ rights and in­sult­ing our laws,” said U Maung Maung.

The work­ers are de­mand­ing an eight-hour work­ing day, pay­ment of over­time, ex­tra pay for work­ing hol­i­days, and to be granted of­fi­cial Myan­mar hol­i­days.

“Yan­gon ar­bi­tra­tion coun­cil and the cen­tral coun­cil have al­ready ruled in our favour twice last year. But the com­pany failed to com­ply with the coun­cils’ rul­ings,” said PTTEP worker Ko Aung Phay Myint, a mem­ber of the Zawtika Off­shore Myan­mar Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ZOMO).

Work­ers say the com­pany also re­fuses to of­fer them a con­tract, de­spite an or­der from the coun­cils.

PTTEP has or­dered work­ers at its off­shore oil and gas drilling plat­forms to un­dergo com­pe­tence tests. The 18 dis­missed work­ers were fired last month while sit­ting the tests.

They say no rea­son was given. The work­ers also com­plained that PTTEP had de­manded US$150,000 from them as com­pen­sa­tion for the train­ing it said it had pro­vided, in­clud­ing $50,000 for “in­sult­ing the com­pany’s dig­nity”.

A PTTEP spokesper­son de­clined a re­quest from The Myan­mar Times to com­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.