IndustriALL Global Union Oil and Gas network Meeting
On November 12, an online meeting of the IndustriALL oil and gas sector Global union executives took place. Over 30 representatives from 20 countries participated in the meeting.
The main matter discussed was the COVID-19 pandemic spread aftermath evaluation, a pressing issue for all the world economies, including the global oil and gas sector.
As part of the said meeting, the gas and oil industry trade union partners from Algeria, Australia, Belgium, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA have assessed the potential recovery of market demand for oil and petroleum products, the effectiveness of the OPEC+ countries effort in stabilizing the global oil market, as well as the predictions for the future of social and labor sectors.
As the participants have noted, the global economic decline caused by the pandemic reduced the gasoline, jet fuel, and other petroleum products demand, causing price lowering. Many oil companies are terminating or planning on terminating oil refineries, possibly leaving tens of thousands of people unemployed in a crisis situation.
Furthermore, as the meeting curator, Diana Junquera Curiel, the IndustriALL Global Union energy director, has noted, low oil prices positively affected importing countries such as China and India which, adapting to the situation, have filled up their oil stock.
In the current social and economic conditions world trade unions will be undergoing a series of challenges, as the meeting participants have noted. This will be caused, in particular, by the loss of employment and limited social security of those still employed. Nonetheless, the speakers believe it is the trade unions that still greatly contribute to job and health security of the employees, including those of the oil and gas industry.
In his speech, Aleksandr Korchagin stated that the coronavirus outbreak in Russia has created an alarmingly critical situation in the oil market — the oil pricings have hit a 20 dollar per barrel low this year and country GDP has decreased, as well as the production rates. Consequently, social security statistics have declined as well.
At the same time, as stated by the ROGWU President, the oil and gas industry of Russia hasn’t been affected by the pandemic as severely as other industries given that major companies were able to switch to remote work without productivity drops. Trade union organizations are cooperating with the employers to take preventive measures and inform the employees of the means of COVID-19 protection and prophylaxis and purchase extra sanitizing and protective gear, as well as other measures.
Concluding, meeting organizers once again emphasized the importance of unity for the trade unions in such a situation of crisis, the constant most effective work practice exchange in the conditions of further coronavirus infection spread. Another important suggestion was the need to urge the employers and government officials worldwide to switch to alternative, renewable energy sources and take the corresponding legal and financial actions essential for that.