The Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) has written to Dr Roshan Parasram, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) at the Ministry of Health, asking him to intervene in the situation at offshore platforms belonging to energy company Perenco, where several workers have contracted COVID-19.
In the correspondence signed by Acting President Mario Als—and which was shared with workers and the media—BIGWU calls on the CMO “to investigate and determine whether Perenco has met the required standards to ensure not only the health, safety and well-being of their employees, but also the public at large”.
The full text of the correspondence, follows…
Re: Covid-19 Cases at Perenco Offshore Platforms
Dear Dr. Parasram: As you may be aware by now, the Banking, Insurance and General Workers Union (BIGWU) is the Recognised Majority Union (RMU) for a non-supervisory category of workers employed with Perenco; you would be aware too that the item at caption has been the subject of reports in the local media.
Consequent upon same, we advise that the workforce at Perenco have expressed fear not only for their health, safety and lives, but increasingly so for that of their families. These fears are premised on concerns that no information has been shared with them by the employer about the conduct of contact tracing and there is every indication from their direct experience that there has been no proper and frequent sanitisation of touch points on the platforms, as well as an absence of social distancing protocols.
We draw this to your attention as attempts by workers to get information from the employer have been met with a standard formal response that Ministry of Health guidelines are being followed, a response that the Union and workers consider as being more than sadly wanting as it in no way allays the fears and concerns of workers and their families for their health and safety amidst the high incidence of Covid -19 cases on Perenco’s platforms.
We are constrained in this regard to ask on behalf of the affected workers and their families for your urgent and decisive intervention to investigate and determine whether Perenco has met the required standards to ensure not only the health, safety and well-being of their employees, but also the public at large.
We are certain that you can and will appreciate the heightened state of anxiety and stress that this situation is causing amongst the workers and their families and urge and appeal for immediate attention to be paid to the matter.
A copy of this item of correspondence is being shared with workers of Perenco and the media for their information.
In the Service of the Working Class,