Drop in oil price leads to redundancies in Angola

23 September 2015

The sharp fall in the price of oil has led to the indirect dismissal this year of more than 7,000 workers, especially in the construction sector, in just four of Angola’s 18 provinces, according to union figures.

Figures issued by the secretary general of the National Union of Angolan Workers – Trade Union Confederation (UNTA-CS) showed that the construction industry was most affected by the state’s lack of financial resources due to oil export tax revenues falling by 50 percent, having lost more than 6,500 jobs this year.

The secretary general of the Angolan trade union confederation told Portuguese news agency Lusa that the State’s payment difficulties are behind the cuts, which may affect 10 percent of the construction sector workforce in Angola.

“These are contracts with the State and now that the State is unwilling to keep them, because it has no way to honour its commitments, the contractors close the work sites, making workers unemployed.”

The sharp drop in the price of oil in 2014 decreased Angolan tax revenues from oil exports, prompting the government to cut a third of all planned public expenditure and reviewing the status of some projects.

Angola has around 1 million workers who pay into the social security system, between the public and private sectors, but UNTA-CS estimated that over 5 million people work in the informal market and are not protected by the country’s welfare system. (macauhub/AO)

MACAUHUB FRENCH