Azerbaijan: Oil workers’ rights abuses include non-payment of wages, discrimination, lack of union rights, health & safety violations, says NGO report; includes firms comments

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NGO rejoinder
24 February 2016

Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization rejoinder to ASCO, BP, Intertek & Maersk Drilling

Author: Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization (OWRPO)

At least 7 people have applied to Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization regarding...illegal reduction...Labor Code of Azerbaijan Republic had been violated by BP Exploration Caspian Sea Limited Company and at least a few courts’ decisions were made...Indeed, “ASCO Caspian Holdings S. A” company stopped its activities in July 2015. But still the hearing of people whose rights were violated by the company continues...Decisions in force adopted by Sabail and Khatai District Courts, Baku Court of Appeal and Supreme Court prove that, “Intertek Azeri Ltd” LLC violates requirements of Labor Code and labor legislation of Azerbaijan Republic...Rights of 2nd group disabled and war veterans Sarvar Karimov are violated in “Maersk Drilling Services” LLC for 4 years... 

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Item
23 February 2016

BP response to OWRPO's rejoinder

Author: BP

...We would like to re-iterate that in response to the challenging business environment and in an effort to increase our competitiveness in the current challenging conditions, in 2015 BP reviewed its organisational structure and made some changes to become a smaller organisation as required by its business agenda. As a result, some positions were made redundant in the entire organisation. In taking these decisions and in the process of their implementation BP acted in a way that is consistent with its Code of Conduct. In addition, BP acted in accordance with the requirements of the relevant legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan. In Azerbaijan, as well as in all parts of the world, BP shows respect for the local laws and is committed to doing the right thing.

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Item
22 February 2016

ASCO response to OWRPO's rejoinder

Author: ASCO

...In January 2015 ASCO laid off 18 out of 461 employees. During termination proceedings, ASCO ensured all legal requirements were met and all applicable compensations paid. All the above mentioned actions were confirmed and validated by Ministry of Labor and Social Protection during the inspection conducted due to the complaint filed by the individuals in question...Both Abbasov Elchin Boyukaga and Valiyev Shamil Elkhan were paid more than minimum required redundancy including 2 months’ payment in lieu of terms plus 1 month’s severance pay plus full month salary for January (even though they only worked half that month)...ASCO won all recent Court instances...which again proves that the Company was in compliance with all necessary Laws & Regulations of Azerbaijan Republic.

 

 

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Report
3 February 2016

Evaluation of the implementation of legislation on Labor, economic and social rights of Azerbaijan’s oil sector Report on 2015

Author: Oil-Workers’ Rights Protection Organization (OWRPO)

...The purpose of the report is to assess the implementation of legislation on labor and social rights in oil sector of Azerbaijan...Labor legislation violations in the extractive industries of the country have been observed...As a result, rights of hundreds of people were violated, lost their jobs, were injured or tragically killed...[M]any workers are exposed to discrimination. This case is mostly observed in...SOCAR, Bahar OC, and SOCAR CAPE...Staff reduction continues in SOCAR and other foreign oil Companies. In many cases workers are forced to write applications of dismissal at their own request...[D]uring 2015 there were 18 death cases...and 21 injuiries related to production in oil sector...BP, Statoil, Stork, SOCAR CAPE, Maersk, Enermek created artificial barriers to the right of association of employees into trade unions.

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Company response
3 February 2016

Statoil response

Author: Statoil

We would like to take this opportunity to provide an overview of Statoil’s Human Rights approach and business activities in the Republic of Azerbaijan, where Statoil has been present since 1992...We respect all internationally recognized human rights, including those set out in the International Bill of Human Rights, the International Labour Organization Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and applicable standards of international humanitarian law...

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Company response
2 February 2016

ASCO response

Author: ASCO

We no longer have any operations in Azerbaijan. These ceased in July 2015.

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Company non-response
2 February 2016

Baghlan Group did not respond

Company non-response
2 February 2016

BOS Shelf LLC did not respond

Company response
2 February 2016

BP response

Author: BP

...[I]n 2015 BP reviewed its organisational structure and made some changes to become a smaller organisation as required by its business agenda. As a result, some positions were made redundant and this impacted roles occupied by both national and expatriate employees. All of these decisions and their implementation were consistent with BP’s Code of Conduct, as well as with the relevant legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan...Human rights are an important element in BP’s approach to responsible business conduct. BP has commitment to respecting fundamental rights at work, through its Group Business and Human Rights policy which articulates its commitment to respecting internationally recognised human rights...BP has not received any trade union establishment related requests from its employees in the Republic of Azerbaijan...In the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as elsewhere where BP operates, its environmental performance and activities are regulated by relevant local legislation...In addition, BP applies a consistent and high set of specific standards for the operations in the Caspian Sea and works closely with the relevant regulatory bodies to minimize the potential impact of its operations on the environment. 

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Company non-response
2 February 2016

Elite Marine Services did not respond