Trade Union’s Manual on Oil and Gas for Sustainable Development – May 2012
The speed with which East African countries adapt could determine whether our region lives up to its reputation as the latest great oil and gas frontier, with big implications for global energy flows as well as regional economies.
The recent oil and gas discoveries have led to jostling of giant energy companies to for space in East Africa. The speed with which East African countries adapt could determine whether our region lives up to its reputation as the latest great oil and gas frontier, with big implications for global energy flows as well as regional economies.
Oil and gas are essential components of modem, industrialized civilization; as societies and economies grow, so do their oil and gas industries. The oil and gas industries have revolutionized human lives and improved our standard of living. The industries’ products constitute building blocks at every level of production and consumption in key sectors of economic life. A stable supply of oil and gas is needed to sustain continued development of our economies. The oil and gas industries are highly capitalized; much of the manual work has been replaced by automation, but significant parts of oil and gas operations still rely on human input.
Sound employer-employee relations are therefore crucial to the stable production and supply of oil and gas. The East African Trade Union Confederation’s main priority is decent work for all including the emerging sector of oil and gas.
The Decent Work Agenda which has four pillars namely rights at work; employment and work; social protection; and social dialogue are directly relevant to the situation of workers in the oil and gas industries. It is important to note that although the oil and gas sector is one of the world’s higher wage payers it has been suffering serious shortages of skilled labour which will be the case in East Africa.
It is also important for trade unions in East Africa to be prepared to deal with however, pockets of real exploitation and hardship, particularly for contract workers that are normally associated with oil and gas sector in developing nations. It is against this background that the Trade Unions in East Africa through the East African Trade Union Confederation is dedicated to developing resource material to build capacity of not only the affiliates but also union members in the oil and gas sector.
This manual will go along way to provide basic knowledge needed for sector unions that are already organizing the oil and gas sector or are preparing to organize in this sector. Francis Atwoli, MBS Chairman East Africa Trade Union Confederation
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