Monday, December 2, 2013

Nationals, not expats, should be running Ok Tedi

Source: The National, Monday December 2nd, 2013
IT is with great sadness that I write on behalf of the silent majority that have been forced to leave Ok Tedi Mining Ltd (OTML) against their will by year’s end.
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill promised that his government would listen to the petition submitted by the 2,000-plus skilled workers and that no national employee would lose his/her job, but instead create more jobs.
This is not happening.
In the name of cost-cutting and a smaller mine operation going forward, the company has laid off 40% of its national workforce, but no expatriate positions have been made redundant.
The company is recruiting a lot of expatriates, mostly to fill managerial and senior positions vacated by nationals.
Many consultants are flooding in and a lot of contracts worth millions of US dollars are being raised to bring in more consultants and contract companies to drain the wealth from Ok Tedi.
Is the prime minister aware of what is going on and is he concerned for his fellow countrymen and women?
Does he have plans to secure their welfare and their jobs?
Ok Tedi is 100% PNG-owned and every Papua New Guinean should be happily working and benefitting from this great mine.
The government needs to intervene immediately and sack managing director Nigel Parker and his senior management.
I write this in hope that the prime minister and his office will take immediate action to save our national employees’ jobs.
We have been running this mine for over 30 years and it is time we manage our own affairs and be truly independent.
We have enough qualified technical people from engineers, designers, miners, operators, welders, fitters as well as managers.
Let Ok Tedi be run by Papua New Guineans from 2014.
We can do it and we are prepared to take Ok Tedi forward.
Patriotic Mine Slave
OTML T­­­­­­­­­abubil


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