Oil and gas production and oil refining sector

The crude oil price affects the corporate behaviours of international oil companies (IOCs) and national oil companies (NOCs). IOCs consolidated through M&A and drastically reduced their workforce in order to remain profitable. The NOCs needed to maintain financial returns to their governments and many confined their activities nationally. Employment in NOCs has remained fairly stable. Employment in IOCs has been volatile. In the petroleum industry, it is estimated that employment peaked at about 4 million in 2004, the gradually declined to the current level of about 3 million. World oil refining employment is estimated to be more than 1.5 million. Employment volatility led to and has sustained an increase in contract labour. Employment opportunities for women in the oil industry are increasing, but from a very low base. Oil workers are generally well paid compared with those in other industries. But there are wage gaps, depending on occupation, skills, gender and nationalities. Many oil workers work long hours, often work in a remote area separating from their families. Family-friendly policies benefit both oil companies and workers. Some of the principles of freedom of Association have not been respected in the oil industry. Most of cases involving the oil industry concerned civil liberties. The right to strike, state interference, restrictive legislation, the infringement of free and voluntary collective bargaining, barriers to establishing organizations; and the dismissal of trade union leaders and trade union members make up the rest, in decreasing order of occurrence. The ILO’s areas of work are concentrated in these subject-matters to improve the fundamental rights at work for all people employed in the petroleum industry in the industry through the promotion of tripartite social dialogue.