"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

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Allegations of discrimination and anti-labour practices at PNG LNG

Last week a thread on industrial relations practice at PNG LNG was started on a popular Papua New Guinea Facebook forum. Contributors complained about discrimination, unfair dismissal, and a lack of union representation in the workplace.

We post the thread below. The names of contributors have been removed in case they are PNG LNG employees. A number of PNG LNG workers have alleged to LNG Watch that ExxonMobil monitors Facebook forums and disciplines staff  for making public comments about the project.

Facebook Post


 ·  ·  · April 25 at 9:13am via mobile

    • I turned down one of their offer because of the same reason...I knew this was in existence...!!
      April 25 at 9:18am ·  ·  2
    • Why are we being treated like slaves in our own country???
      April 25 at 10:55am ·  ·  2

    • I was told they preach about safety but they drop their local staff at main bus stops they find their way home. Not caring if they are held up or get caught in the rain, probably getting sick after that. Their wives missuse the company vehicles during working hours thats okay but if a local does, he or she is sacked. PNG employees who are more qualified in their field are been supressed & expats that don't even qualify are placed there.

      April 25 at 1:09pm via mobile ·  ·  4
    • as always, PNG being used as dumping ground...alot of former santos being placed with duplication of roles, you see it in OSL as well as Esso! BBt it works different for AMerican companies, they treat you equal!
    • Sad... So what do we do? Any practical suggestions? Do we start with thrashing issues about labour dept?
      April 25 at 1:33pm via mobile · 
    • I beleive the government should come hard now on nationalisation program...it seems that is the only setback, dept of labour & industrial relations need to conduct employeee and employer surveys right througout the country and determine the salary cap for national employees, as well as other working conditions and benefits.
      April 25 at 1:42pm ·  ·  5
    •  for exampe, some companies pay nationals based on the standard of living, the currency equivalent but not basically on the job...you will see some papua new guineans basically do the same job but are paid differently. we need to review these policies, and see if there are loopholes for which they are are capitalizing
      April 25 at 1:44pm ·  ·  5

    • The majority of national employees working within LNG Plant site are either recruited by LABA Holdings Ltd or recommended to the LNG Contractors by LABA Holdings. LABA is the umbrella landowner company owned by the 4 impacted central villages of Porebada, Boera, Lealea and Papa who have a 25% interest each in the umbrella company. LABA has a signed contract with Esso Highlands Ltd giving it exclusive recruiting rights from general labourers to Clerical positions from the 4 impacted villages or within NCD/Central. In the agreement the hourly rates for all positions from the cleaners to the admin clerks are specified and LABA is paid direct from EHL the monthly rates of all employees recruited by LABA. LABA then pays the employees not the full amount, but deducts a certain percentage as a management fee and pays the balance to the employee. A security Guard manning the gate to the plant site may be recruited by Laba for EHL at a rate of K8 per hour. LABA upon receiving payment from EHL retains K3 and pays the employee only K5 per hour. The employees cannot complain to EHL because EHL is paying LABA in advance the agreed workers rates. LABA should step out of the picture, stop acting as a middle man and allow employees to be paid their full rates under the agreement with Esso Highlands.

      April 25 at 2:41pm ·  ·  7
    • My thoughts are this is what John Paska and the TUC should be fighting for...workers rights as citizens and battling the Government of PNG to do something about this instead of getting involved with politics. This would do Mr. Paska a whole lot of Good come election time when he stands for the NIPS regional seat.
      April 25 at 4:26pm ·  ·  2

    • I know that we don't have a strong labour laws that protect & safeguard the naional or citizen interest. I was sacked anyway from LNG because I posted the death of a Tari colleague & wantok during recent strike in Tamadeki camp, I would say...
      See More

      April 25 at 5:02pm ·  ·  3
    • I mean very few PNGians find themselves in the management level & technical or supervision. Rest of the PNGians employed are class" general labour" those that will be classed skilled labour (such as operators, drivers etc) share the created vacancies with overseas imported labour. In most cases, overseas skilled imports surpass the local supply, yet we find some skilled PNGians on the streets...
      April 25 at 5:09pm ·  ·  1

    • Now, coming to the treatment of PNGians, all of us are viewed the same as any PNGians irrespective of whether we come from project impacted area or not. They think that someone from Rabaul coming to work under HDGC is from Tari so how he tr...
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      April 25 at 5:14pm ·  ·  1

    • To say it in short: LNG Project has a screen that "its users" use to view Papua New Guineans in terms of skill level & business capacity. Basically, the general consensus is PNG is not there yet, not on par in terms of technical capacity, b...
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    • By the way, EHL restricts the umbrella landowner companies to recruit within project impacted area only, once the umbrella companies start recruiting other PNGians not within the project area, travel costs & other factors are not part of the agreement so umbrella companies are discouraged or made to fight the system to get reimbursement...this small tactic is used to favour them so they can recruit overseas imports
      April 25 at 5:33pm ·  ·  1
    •  I cant believe they sacked you that is disgraceful. You reported, in good faith, a tragic event to Sharp Talk users, you do not deserve to be punished for that. Indeed, how many accidents, fatalities, injuries, are occurring at the LNG project I wonder, which are not reported on because employees are not unionised, and are scared they will lose their position? I am so sorry to hear you were fired.

      April 25 at 6:11pm ·  · 
    •  I guess I went bit far in not returning on time after the short lay-off, so I was asked to go off...I am speculating it may have other reasons for them asking me not to return
      April 25 at 6:36pm ·  ·  1
    • By the way, not everyone returned on time plus other admin delays in arrangement but I have accepted to move on as I cannot pretend I do not hate my workplace treatment...
      April 25 at 6:40pm ·  ·  1
    • Fair enough, well I hope you are able to find work in a more supportive and interesting environment.

      April 25 at 6:45pm ·  · 

    • On the issue raised by XXXXX - and I preface this by saying I am not familiar with the IR situation at PNG LNG - it would appear that PNG workers are organised through workers councils. This appears (?) to be a tool set up by management to hear workers thoughts and grievances. If LNG workers are to have improved conditions and pay, I would imagine some form of collective bargaining is needed, mediated through a LNG workers union. But to my knowledge none exists. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable on this front can advise.

      April 25 at 7:04pm ·  · 

    • Not good...not good at all. I agree. Because of the size of the project there should be a employees union setup.
      I was told that at a meeting they were told before hand to give in their questions on the project & conditions. When asked if they lcls who live further out of the city could be assisted with transport to take them home early to avoid any security issues they said thats your choice! They didnt even try to look at the living conditions & ask why they're asking the questions.

      April 25 at 9:58pm via mobile ·  ·  1

    • Here they are planning to build a multimillion dollar residential block which will only house the expatriate community. What about the local employees. they can't even provide something like that as an incentive so that they would go to work early & work loyally towards a successful project.
      Mind you some employees in POM start work 8am but are up at 4am just to get to work early & arrive home at 6pm or 7pm sometimes even at 8pm & the cycle repeats. Not good coz fatigue relates to less productivity

      April 25 at 10:13pm via mobile ·  ·  2
    • Can the employees bring those cases to our attention and we can put them up on "Abusers Exposed Png".....
      April 25 at 10:31pm via mobile ·  ·  1

    • The labour dept, foreign affairs, immigration and customs should collate a profile of people of asian, australian, NZ, US, canadians, english origin working at the LNG sites. Make it public so we know who they are and what job they do, that PNGeans cannot do.
      April 25 at 10:40pm ·  ·  1
    • PNG is systematically corrupt. Human beings rely on the systems inplaced throughout the world in the Govn't systems. We are systematically defunct and corruption take its course by ill disciplined public servants taking advantage for thier own benefit
      April 25 at 11:11pm ·  ·  1
    • The employees in LNG especially nationals definitely need back up, support and help from TUC and Labour to give them a voice. They have an association registered and I heard the association has registered with TUC but they have not been supported in their cause. Currently they are simply being exploited by the contractors and Laba Holdings.
      April 25 at 11:33pm ·  ·  3
    • ‎... Laba holdings who is exploited by EHL... apparently thanks to agreement they cant go beyond scaffolding, catering and security... The EHL is a bully and thanks to the stupid leaders who negotiated a weak deal for the landco... PATHETIC
      April 25 at 11:42pm via mobile ·  ·  5

    • PNG, we have to realise that it is not that easy to work in a multi cultural environment...this issue raised happens in every multi national company you work for in the industry... The best thing to do is stand tall and firm....talk the way...
      See More

      April 25 at 11:53pm ·  ·  1
    •  Mega rip off! I couldn't believe Laba Holdings was able to settle for less! Sounds discriminatory in nature the terms of the agreement...
      April 25 at 11:54pm via mobile ·  ·  4
    •  bro if you ever get into Parliament come July or whenever, the LNG Project in Gulf needs to be scrutinised and reviewed. Obtain independent opinions on the terms of any agreement involving the landowners before signing. Don't make the same mistakes as in Central and in SHP.
      April 25 at 11:59pm ·  ·  2
    • @ gulf people, Remember only fools rush in... So don't be pressured to sign the agreement quickly without fully understanding it and it's impact on the lives of your people...
      April 26 at 12:15am via mobile ·  ·  

    • bro you bet, I have seen enough from these valuable experiences and yes Gulf Province will definitely be taking all the necessary precautions under my Governorship to ensure my people and my Province gets the maximum benefits outfrom this LNG project. I have my own oil/gas drilling coming up sometimes this year (Tuna). It is very timely that I will be going into the parliament now then before when Gulf didnt know about her potential (especially the people) to be a major oil/gas producing Province in PNG. Your service will surely be require and I hereby put you on notice that should yr service be required, I shall call upon you and others like you to help me run my Province..

      April 26 at 6:23pm via  ·  ·  1
    • Go for it Bro ! Its time to change our leaders for the better and all the best in your campaign.
    • This is not only LNG, it is happening in all private sectors. jobs that can be localized, private sectors are bringing in expatriates on consultancy basis. Can we have the government to look into this issue? We are becoming slaves in our own land!!!

    • Can the mainstream media look into this rot where Papua New Guineans are treated second class in their own land. This is not Australia or New Zealand or elsewhere where Pacific Islanders are looked down as second class. I have lived in New Zealand since 1996 and have gone through this crap and shit myself. I am now in the Middle East as a Papua New Guinean expert but I also go through the same discrminatory atttiudes, what they call riding on WHITE PRIVILEDGE. Papua New Guineans should not be intimidated, coerced and treated as second class in their own mother land. I for one would not allow such to happen in my own land and country. Whoever has gone through discrimination of any nature, whether small or big should come out and tell the nation what form and how foreigners are treating our own kind and flesh and blood. This is my land and this is my country and I deserve better.

      April 26 at 8:43pm ·  ·  1
    • Australian jobs for Australians, Canadian jobs for Canadians, English jobs for Englishwo/men,....regulations againt workplace discrimination is well established in these developed countries, however petty jokes, sacarsm, belittling and discrimination is rife. PNGean working overseas will know what I mean. At this time of global uncertainty, this is rumphant. It is time we say PNG jobs for PNGeans. It can be done, it must be done. Where there is a will, there is a WAY. The responsible statutory bodies must voice their concern and ACT for the benefit of Papua New Guieans.


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