Gabon Oil Workers Say Suspend Strike After Demands Met

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Gabon's oil workers union said on Sunday it had suspended a week-long strike after the government agreed to improve working conditions for Gabonese staff and expel about 3,000 undocumented foreign employees.

Gabon's oil workers union said on Sunday it had suspended a week-long strike after the government agreed to improve working conditions for Gabonese staff and expel about 3,000 undocumented foreign employees.

Oil workers in Gabon have long complained about higher wages paid to expatriate workers and say many of them do not have the right work permits and papers.

"The government has given us what we want," ONEP union spokesman Aime Ipandi told Reuters by telephone. No one was immediately available to comment from the government.

Oil majors Total and Royal Dutch Shell have said the strike did not affect their operations, despite union reports to the contrary.

The two companies dominate Gabon's roughly 240,000 barrels-per-day oil sector, and previous strikes by ONEP have forced shut their fields.

Smaller players in the sector, including Maurel & Prom, Perenco and Addax, did not comment on the effect of the strike, which began on March 9.

The latest industrial action came after the union accused the government of failing to apply a 2010 agreement to use more Gabonese workers.

Oil revenues contribute around 60 percent of the African state's budget.

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