Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mexican Offshore Oil And Gas Sector Under Fire

Unions Force Government to Address Safety Issues
Shipping News Feature

MEXICO – As the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) quadrennial conference continues in Mexico City a delegation met yesterday with the Director General of the General Office of Exploration and Exploitation of Hydrocarbons at Mexico's Ministry of Energy to discuss ITF concerns about human rights violations and the lack of a proper health and safety regime in the country's offshore oil and gas sector.

Serious concerns for the working conditions of staff involved in offshore services, a peripheral but extremely hazardous sector of the freight industry, have been expressed by various factions and the ITF delegation, which consisted of Norrie McVicar, Chair of the ITF Offshore Task Force Group, Ysmael García Muñoz of the OCPNRM Mexican seafarers' union, and Roar Holtet of the Norwegian Indistri Energi union, were informed that new structures were being put into place to deal with the current problems of the industry.

The group received assurances that the energy, labour, maritime and transport ministries would coordinate their activities to improve health and safety at work, along with the development of emergency response training and good labour practices.

ITF concerns had previously been raised at the International Forum on Maritime Offshore Industry in Mexico last year and yesterday’s discussions took into account the Forum’s conclusions - which broadly reflected the findings of an ITF-commissioned report. Written by investigative journalist Ana Lilia Pérez, the report, Campeche Basin: Paradigm of Labour Exploitation, can be seen HERE.