Oil & Gas

CNOOC’s Ugandan workers threaten strike action over unfair salary regime, some Chinese middle managers earning UGX 180M monthly

CNOOC’s Ugandan workers threaten strike action over unfair salary regime, some Chinese middle managers earning Ugx 180M monthly  CNOOC head offices on John Babiiha Avenue [formerly Acacia Avenue]. Some staff members claim CNOOC mistreats them

CNOOC’s Ugandan workers threaten strike action over unfair salary regime, some Chinese middle managers earning Ugx 180M monthly
CNOOC head offices on John Babiiha Avenue [formerly Acacia Avenue]. Some staff members claim CNOOC mistreats them

Ugandan staff members at the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) claim the multinational practices lip service when it comes to labour, employment fairness and corporate governance. They also accuse CNOOC of mistreatment, low pay and importing expatriates to do work, which can be done by natives.

They also accuse the company of frustrating career growth of some Ugandan professionals. The employees, referring to themselves as ‘CNOOC whistleblowers”, further accuse the company of double standards ‘yet it sends out a picture of equality and good working relations’.

The latest follows a memo dated Monday 4th April 2022, addressed to all staff from Yvette K. Muyingo the Head Human Resource Department CNOOC Uganda Limited that alters salary payment period from the usual 25th of the outstanding month payable to the 5th of the next month.

First reported by Howwebiz, the communication by Ms. Yvette K. Muyingo orders local employees to must register and submit their monthly timesheet by the 25th of each month for review and approval by their Line Manager in compliance with the Company payroll processing procedure and a racially unfair company policy to conduct annual appraisals which favors Chinese workers.

“Monthly Payroll shall be prepared and processed in reference to your timesheet. Therefore, the purpose of this MEMO is to inform you that the salary payment date will change from the 25th of the outstanding month payable to the 5th of the next month to cater for the new requirements. This change is effective April 2022,” part of the memo reveals.

Local staff claim the Muyingo’s hand has been forced by Gao Qiang, an HR adviser who is been previously accused of racial favoritism and wayward unrealistic changes.

Ugandans question the motive of the company heads and why they did not communicate the changes earlier, to give them notice about the changes. The employee also claims they had been promised salary enhancement, yet it has not been done yet their Chinese counterparts walk away with hefty wages and allowances despite being at the same level.

“Salaries were supposed to be enhanced. Whereas Petroleum Authority, the regulator recommended salary increment, these Chinese have been playing since about four years back, there’s nothing. And for them, some are earning USD30,000-50,000 which none of the Ugandans is earning. On the Ugandan team not even the heads of department take home Ugx 12 million, but a Chinese earns Ugx 180 million per month, this is not fair,” a local employee who preferred anonymity was quoted by Howwebiz

“If this doesn’t change, we shall go on strike,” another CNOOC staffer said.

They also ask Government through Ministry of Energy to regulate how many expatriates come in because the kind of knowledge and experience has partially been attained by Ugandans following years of training.

Staff ideas are always suppressed and this should stop. It is this suppression that could have led this information to be leaked to the public.

A representative of CNOOC Uganda Ltd told reporters a statement to address the workers’ grievances will be shared with the media.

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