- Says Labour Minister
The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) has been alleging unfair treatment of Guyanese workers employed within the oil and gas industry over the past few months.
Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton told MTV News Update that he is aware of these reports, but the Ministry has never received a formal complaint to investigate.
“We have no official report from any person who is working in the oil and gas industry that has come to us and say this is how I’m being short-changed by the employer […]. We can only start an investigation properly by an official report.”
According to the Minister, reports of expatriate employees being paid more than Guyanese employees have been constantly raised, and very shortly, the Ministry will be looking into these reports.
“Very shortly, we’ll validate that. I have had conversations with many people working in oil and gas. I have had conversations with ExxonMobil particularly, and I said to them, whilst I have not heard that kind of reports coming out of Exxon, I believe you as the company that everybody knows here […]. You have a responsibility to ensure all the contractors you’re bringing to this place that they do the right thing,” Hamilton stated.
According to the Labour Minister,it will continue to engage ExxonMobil and other companies in this regard.
Only last year, the Labour Ministry held a one-day seminar for companies operating in the oil and gas industry, where some 84 companies participated.
“That will continue, and we hope that before we have to utilise the law if the reports are correct, there are rapid changes,” he noted.