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Government calls for dialogue to overcome Halliburton workers strike

The government has asked the administration of US oil company Halluburton to be available to talk to workers, who two weeks ago demand a salary update at the official exchange rate.

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According to a communication from the Ministry of Mineral Resources and Oil (MIREMPET), a meeting was held at the headquarters of the ministerial body, between the minister of the sector, Diamantino Pedro Azevedo, the minister of Public Administration, Labor and Social Security, Jesus Maiato and the deputy US President Halliburton for the Eastern Hemisphere, Joe Rainey.

MIREMPET's Institutional Communications and Press office said Joe Rainey was called in to "positively influence the company's leadership in Angola and open itself to dialogue with union members and overcome the strike".

More than 500 workers from US oil company Halliburton, a service provider to angolan companies operating in Angola, are on strike "indefinitely" in protest against unpaid wages at the central bank's exchange rate.

"At the moment there is no negotiation, we have already stopped, we are on strike and in the negotiations, they [the management] do not want to hear about the exchange rate update," the president of the Petrochemical and Metallurgical Industries Union of Angola, João Ernesto Pedro, told Lusa last week.

The union leader, who regretted that the company continued to pay converted kwanza-dollar salaries for five years, considered the employer's stance to be "scandalous and stealing".

The Sipeqma leader also questioned the silence of the country's authorities regarding the "constant violations of the law and workers' rights" by the US oil company, saying that operations are stalled.

"We only ask for flexibility of the company, because the current salaries are out of line with the current context of the country," said João Ernesto Pedro, ensuring openness to negotiate with the management of the company that specializes in drilling oil wells.