Azerbaijan: SOCAR’s decision to keep workers on oil rigs for over a month due to COVID-19 violates their rights, says NGO; includes firm’s comments

Author: OC Media, Published on: 26 March 2020

Workers stranded on offshore oil rigs in Azerbaijan due to COVID-19, 19 March 2020

Workers on oil platforms owned by Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil firm, SOCAR, will have to stay offshore for over a month. Mirvari Gahramanli, the head of the Committee for the Protection of Oilmen’s Rights...said that workers sent to the platforms 10 days ago would not be relieved until 11 April — more than a month — and would have to continue to work...Gahramanli said the move could have a significant impact on the health of offshore workers. ‘Staying at work for more than a month, working twice as long as normal [per day], staying away from their families will have a significant impact on their psychosocial condition and health’, she said...Gahramanli noted that such a situation violates...the rules surrounding maximum working hours and overtime hours...Ibragim Ahmedov, the chief spokesperson for SOCAR, told 1news agency...that they made the changes in the schedule of oil workers on offshore platforms as part of containment measures to counter the spread of the coronavirus.‘Oilmen who are now on shift at sea will have to stay longer — this is a necessary measure that not only SOCAR, but also many oil companies apply because of the coronavirus’, he said...‘...it is necessary by all measures...to prevent people potentially infected with the coronavirus, which is not detectable at the initial stage, from getting onto the platforms’, he said. 

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Related companies: State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR)