DNO has used the ongoing war and deteriorating political situation in Yemen to avoid responsibility for its staff.
DNO has been doing business in Yemen since 2000. Last year, due to the war, DNO terminated its operations and on 27 April 2015, sacked 200 staff by text message and email.
DNO paid no redundancy money or compensation to its staff, who have been left without a social and economic safety net in a country that stands on the brink of collapse.
This is illegal under Yemeni law, but the company has used the security situation to evade responsibility.
IndustriALL affiliate the General Union of Petroleum, Minerals and Chemical workers in Yemen won recognition at DNO in 2010, after a long struggle. The union protested to the company and government, but according to union president Hassan Hendi, no action has been taken because of the war.
Norwegian oil sector union and IndustriALL affiliate Industri Energi launched a solidarity campaign on behalf of their Yemeni colleagues, and wrote to DNO shareholders in Norway demanding the company take responsibility. The shareholders include the pension fund of the Norwegian state-owned oil company Statoil.
Industri Energi expressed its dismay at DNO’s behaviour, saying that DNO was hurting Norway’s reputation, and pointing out that other international companies operating in Yemen – including Dove and Total – had taken full responsibility for their workforce.
“Other petroleum extracting companies in Yemen did not dismiss their employees and have been paying salaries to their workers. They take their social responsibility seriously, and help their shareholders, the workers. By doing so, they will have qualified people ready to start production when the conflict has settled. In addition, they assist those who have been loyal to the company, in difficult times.”
DNO shareholders ignored the message, and the situation for the workers remains perilous.
IndustriALL has sent a letter to DNO, demanding that the company accept its responsibility to its employees.
Kemal Ozkan, IndustriALL assistant general secretary said:
“It is an absolute disgrace that this company has abandoned its loyal workforce in the midst of this terrible conflict.”