Gabon oil strike averted as negotiations begin

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Gabon’s main oil industry trade union has agreed to suspend strike plans and open negotiations with the government over labour regulations governing the sector, the government said.

The ONEP union this week set a deadline last Friday midnight for resolving a dispute on whether the energy sector should be required to provide uninterrupted minimal service, a proviso it argued would undermine its leverage in collective bargaining.

The strike would have threatened to shut off some 250 000 barrels of crude per day from the country, Africa’s seventh largest producer and home to the operations of several foreign oil companies including France’s Total.
“The two sides have agreed to open negotiations (which) should reach agreement on a regulatory text setting out the implementation of minimum service in the oil sector,” a government statement read out on national television said.
“The government and the ONEP affirm their intention to reach an agreement rapidly,” it added.

Source: www.af.reuters.com