Drop in oil prices leads to redundancies in Angola

29 December 2015

The sharp fall in oil prices has indirectly led to the dismissal of more than 7,000 workers in Angola, 6,500 of which in the construction sector, according to a union estimate.

The National Union of Angolan Workers (UNTA-CS) said this number refers only to the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Kwanza Sul and Huíla, with the construction sector most affected by the State’s lack of financial resources due to tax only oil exports falling by half.

Cited by the Angonotícias website, the secretary general of the Angolan trade union confederation, Manuel Viage, said most of the workers who were made redundant, an consequently stopped paying union dues, lost their jobs when the contractors closed work yards and demobilised staff due to the government’s inability to honour its commitments.

The sharp fall in the price of oil per barrel in 2014 reduced Angola’s oil export revenues, prompting the government this year to cut a third of all public expenditure and review some projects underway or in the pipeline.

The unemployment rate in Angola currently stands at 24 percent, according to UNTA-CS and is due to fixed term contracts with Angolan workers that come to an end and are not renewed, precisely because construction companies have no projects in the pipeline.

After the construction sector, retail and services, and industry are the most affected by the crisis with a total of about 450 jobs lost.

Angola has approximately 1 million workers who make payments into the social security system, between the public and private sectors, but UNTA-CS estimates that more than 5 million work in the informal market, i.e. outside of this scheme and without any type of social protection. (macauhub/AO)