Implementation of labor policies begins at South Sudan oil firms
Following an agreement between the government and petroleum consortia working in South Sudan to apply the Unified Human Resource Policy Manual (UHRPM) for the Ministry of Petroleum, the country’s petroleum sector is anticipating a time of calmness.
The implementation of the policy manual has resulted in widespread strikes by South Sudanese oil workers.
According to the petroleum ministry, oil workers from Great Pioneer Operating Company Limited (GPOC), Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC), Sudd Petroleum Operating Company (SPOC), and Nile Petroleum (Nilepet) have been on strike for the past two years due to failure to implement policy, slowing productivity, and poor environmental management in and around the oil fields.
The policy, which was authorized in 2020, attempts, among other things, to harmonize salary and allegiance disparities between natives and international employees in South Sudan’s oil and gas business.
According to Puot Kang Chol, Minister of Petroleum, the delay was caused by certain government employees who tried to obstruct the policy’s execution.
“The document was used by individuals who have nothing to do with the oil sector to solicit funds and obtain contracts in the name of the document so that the policy is not implemented,” Mr. Kang explained. “Because of our belief and conviction, we continue to pursue the same path because what we were doing was not against the law, and we were able to agree to implement the manual.”
Kang commended the Joint Operating Companies (JOCs) DPOC, GPOC, SPOC, and Nilepet on their agreement to execute it.
Speaking on behalf of international partners, Liu Zhiyong asked for a pardon since the process that culminated in an agreement on policy execution was arduous and complicated.
“The day is a landmark day in the implementation of the Unified Human Resource Policy Manual,” said Liu Zhiyong, a representative of overseas partners. “The process is not simple.” It’s more confession, more forgiveness, more mutual understanding, and eventually, we got [the implementation].”
However, Labour Minister James Hoth Mai said that the next critical step for the partners after the commencement of policy implementation would be environmental protection and the safety of those living in and near the oil fields.
“There is no need to blame these folks (international partners) again for delaying policy execution.” “From now on, we should begin a new age,” Hoth stated. “People are filing charges against South Sudan; South Sudan is not alone in this.” JOCs are included. Our situation is so awful that you must be prepared to answer such queries.”
For the umpteenth time, the policy is supposed to resolve problematic concerns brought by national employees. They want their pay to be equal to those of their expatriate colleagues, as well as allowances and compensation for claimed overwork.