Yemen: Ignoring the demands of Aden Refinery Company employees must end

Yemen: Ignoring the demands of Aden Refinery Company employees must end
A photograph of an Aden Refinery Company employee at work. (Facebook)

London - ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies said the government in the temporary Yemeni capital should take serious action and cease ignoring the rights of the employees of the Aden Refinery Company. Workers demand the disbursement of their financial dues.

The London-based think tank reviewed a statement issued by the Aden Refinery Company’s Council of Syndicate Committees, on behalf of the employees, requested a dialogue with the management to find common ground regarding the refinery and schedule the overdue payment of its employees.

ImpACT stressed the need to stop ignoring the demands of the Aden Refinery Company employees, especially with the uncertainty in their career future after the Yemeni Cabinet Resolution No. (30) for the year 2021, which transfers the refinery’s competencies to the Yemen Petroleum Company.

Aden Refinery Company employees complain about the disruption of their union issues, including the lack of a disbursement schedule for their accumulated financial dues for several years and the failure to provide medical treatment to sick employees.

The management of the Aden Refinery Company says the company suffers from a severe financial crisis, including insufficient liquidity, which prevents it from disbursing the employee dues and paying off the company's debts to local traders.

Aden Refinery Company employees complain about the disruption of their union issues, including the lack of a disbursement schedule for their accumulated financial dues for several years.

The Aden Refinery Company’s Council of Syndicate Committees decided to give the administration a three-day grace period to sit down and settle the demands of the employees. It’s worth knowing that the company has noticeably deteriorated during the past years due the disruption of output.

Amid warnings against the step, the company’s management decided to introduce new channels to sell fuel directly under the pretext of needing liquidity to pay off its debts, to which employees objected.

The employees say that the aforementioned decision brings the refinery into a struggle for survival against the Yemen Petroleum Company in Aden, as it has the ‘exclusive right’ to market oil derivatives in accordance with the law that defines the powers of each company. The Aden Refinery Company specializes in refining, import and export, while the Yemen Petroleum Company has exclusive local marketing. This gives the latter the right to sue the Refinery for exceeding the scope of its jurisdiction by creating illegal fuel sales.

During the last period, the company suffered from a serious financial crisis resulting from the dispute with the Yemeni Ministry of Finance over disbursing the salaries of the Company’s employees, especially after it exhausted its debts to the Ministry of Finance, which amounted to 30 billion riyals (£88.5 million)

The Ministry of Finance tried to compel the Aden Refinery Company to pay a storage commission to the Central Bank, which the company has refused. This forced the company to pay salaries as of May 2020 with an added storage commission of $20 per metric ton for storing Oil derivatives in the company’s reservoirs.

With the increase in operating expenses, expansion of maintenance work, and the Ministry of Finance's abandonment of supporting the refinery, the latter is looking for new resources and alternative options to cover the shortage of liquidity.

One of the options is encouraging suppliers to increase the quantities of their oil supply stored at the refinery. In the past, the company sold some of its assets (Ships and oil tankers) under the pretext that they were unseaworthy.

In a statement followed by ImpACT, the Yemeni oil expert and economist, Ali Al-Masbahi, said the refinery is now in a very difficult spot. It has encumbered itself with large and accumulated financial expenses, while also having unstable resources.

Al-Masbahi said that the refinery's strategy of direct fuel sales is the last serious solution on the table before declaring a state of complete collapse and bankruptcy. He stressed the need for the Yemeni government to accelerate efforts in restarting the Aden Refinery. It is the only solution to the problems of electricity, fuel shortage, high prices of oil derivatives, and the disbursement of the salaries of the Refinery’s employees.

The Aden Refinery Company was established under Law No. (15) 1977. It is the official operator of the refinery in Aden refinery, including its subsidiaries located in Little Aden.

ImpACT International calls for the need to keep the Aden Refinery Company employees and their families out of the repercussions of political and legal disputes, and to commit to ensuring their financial dues and salaries are paid regularly and to end any violation of their guaranteed rights.


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