Friday, 1 July 2011
Algeria: Survey reveals Sonatrach disatisfaction
Sonatrach workers are, of course, oppressed by the high cost of living combined with low salaries and uncertain bonuses and other benefits. Other grievances include poor working conditions, with a lack of spare parts and necessary tools. The health and safety regime is inadequate; protective equipment and safety standards are not in place. Much of this is blamed on centralised and outdated management and a tendering process which favours the very lowest offers.
Another structural inadequacy brought out by the report is the control which the Union Générale des Travailleurs Algériens (UGTA) national trade union has over decisions and social life within the company, which it says has only “fosterered subjectivism and non-professionalism.”
The precise meaning of this criticism is hard to define. However, it appears to be related to the fact that the UGTA is less a channel for expression of genuine workers' demands as a mechanism to help management keep the workforce in check. Cherouati's survey has landed him with a list of demands. Workers want the system of remuneration introduced in 2008 to be scrapped, base salaries to be increased and bonuses and allowances to be reorganised. Other demands include reforms to promotion schemes, retirement allowances, healthcare and training.
For more news and expert analysis about Algeria, please see Algeria Focus and Algeria Politics & Security.
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