Gabon oil workers strike

A three day strike by oil workers in Gabon in mid-April brought public transport in the capital Libreville to a standstill. Their main grievance is that too many oil jobs are going to Africans from other countries and Westerners.

Guy-Roger Aurat Reteno of the National Organisation of Petroleum Employees (ONEP) said the strike had been called off after three days, but warned the union reserved the right to stop work again if the authorities fail to honour their pledges.

Every action of workers against the bosses must be supported by us as socialists. We however stand for the unity of workers irrespective of nationality and while supporting ONEP against the employers call for it to embrace workers from all countries as we face the same fate of exploitation under capitalism.

Gabon’s previous President Omar Bongo amassed a vast fortune during his 41 years in office and was accused of embezzling oil revenues.  His son succeeded him in September 2009 after polls which opponents say were fixed.  The election was followed by violent street protests by opposition activists.