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Greater PioneerOperating Company’s workers threaten to strike

The disgruntled Employees of GPOC in a meeting yesterday at GPOC

compound (Photo: Woja Emmanuel)

By Woja Emmanuel Wani

Employees of Greater Pioneer Operating Company (GPOC) have threatened to strike next Tuesday if the company failed to meet their demand within this week.

Yesterday, the over 200 employees seconded by Nile Petroleum Corporation (Nilepet) to work under GPOC gathered at the compound in Juba to voice their grievances to the company managers.

Addressing the press after the meeting, the Chairperson of Workers Trade Union Dut Bak said the employees demanded for market adjustment allowance as directed by the Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth during resumption of oil production in August last year.

“Today GPOC staff gathered to highlight their grievances which started from marketing adjustment allowances that were signed since 2013 and has not been implemented by GPOC,”Bak told the press.

In August last year, the Minister of Petroleum Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth issued a ministerial order number 12/RSS/MOP/OM/j/303 on the harmonization of Nilepet seconded salaries in the Joint Operating Companies (JOCs).

The Ministerial order also included adoption and implementation of marketing adjustment allowance, payment of two months salary and payment of outstanding arrears from 2013 to 2017 for GPOC retained and  temporary released Nilepet seconded and national employees.

Bak however said that the management of GPOC failed to respect the ministerial orders and refused to sign the memo.

On 4th February this year,  the workers trade union of petroleum and mining wrote a letter to the Minister of Petroleum about the refusal of the foreign partners to implement the ministerial order number 14 issued in August last year.

According to Bak, though the Minister responded, the President of GPOC, Mr. Guo Xinwen failed to respect the regulation.

Bak added that they will down their tools next week if the company failed to address their concerns by the end of this week.

“We want to inform the entire management of GPOC including the Ministry of Petroleum that if there is no resolution from today until Tuesday next week, we are going for strike,”Bak added.

The President of GPOC, Mr. Xinwen who was within the GPOC premises in Juba however refused to respond to the claims of the employees when contacted by the press.

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