"We declare our first goal to be for every person to be dynamically involved in the process of freeing himself or herself from every form of domination or oppression so that each man or woman will have the opportunity to develop as a whole person in relationship with others".

- Papua New Guinea National Goals and Directive Principles

Friday, 26 August 2011

More on the strikes at PNG LNG

It appears that while ExxonMobil are adept at having their PR releases published as news (not just in the Post-Courier!) - they cannot stop the dogs of reality from barking. Here is a recent update on the LNG PNG strikes from the Sydney Morning Herald (26/08/2011)

Workers on Strike at PNG LNG

As many as 100 labourers have gone on strike over pay at the ExxonMobil-led Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant on the outskirts of Port Moresby.
The labourers, who walked off on Monday and expect to strike for two weeks, told reporters on Thursday that Red Sea Housing, a company contracted to build temporary housing on the site, had ignored their calls for a pay raise.
The workers, most drawn from surrounding villages, say they currently earn 3.25 kina an hour (A$1.40 per hour).

"It started on Saturday, with Red Sea. So many people were underpaid," strike leader Mea Arua told reporters outside the plant on Wednesday.
"We had a talk with Red Sea management, and they weren't prepared to help us.
"So when they walked away, we had a meeting and we have come to the solution that it is better to strike."
Mr Arua said the problems over pay were a daily occurrence and he would be happy for staff to get a pay rise to five kina an hour, more than double PNG's minimum wage of 2.29 kina an hour.
Red Sea Housing could not be contacted by AAP on Thursday.
ExxonMobil spokeswoman Rebecca Arnold said there was an established workers committee process for staff to air their grievances and have them addressed.
"That's the correct process to go through in this case, unfortunately that hasn't been followed this time," Ms Arnold told AAP.
"We're hopeful for a speedy resolution."
Ms Arnold said on top of hourly pay, workers also receive meals, transport and training opportunities on site.
"They do receive several benefits," she said.
The site on the outskirts of Port Moresby is intended to be a processing plant and a port to distribute gas to buyers.
The project, expected to cost $16 billion, is due to begin production in 2014 and will see PNG's natural gas sold across Asia for the next 30 years - a plan projected to double PNG's gross domestic product.
In September last year, landowners allegedly attacked and set fire to equipment at the ExxonMobil LNG project at Kaiam Ferry in Kikori, Gulf province, on PNG's southeast coast.
Earlier, in August 2010, workers at another ExxonMobil LNG plant at the base of the southern highlands also went on strike.
In February 2010, construction at another site stopped when four coastal villagers near Port Moresby were killed in a feud over land ownership and LNG-related benefits. 

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