The Guyana Agriculture and General Workers Union (GAWU) which represents some workers in the oil and gas sector has raised alarm about the sidelining of Guyanese workers in favour of foreigners in the oil sector.
In a statement, GAWU said it was shocked to learn that foreigners continue to penetrate the local oil industry and are being given preference over Guyanese workers.
The Union said while there is talk that Guyanese are not qualified to do certain tasks within the sector, it has also learnt that jobs which Guyanese workers can undertake are also being given to foreigners.
The union said it recently learnt that a well-known foreign company has recruited foreign nationals as drivers, mechanics, and other trades, which are jobs that could have been undertaken by locals.
Additionally, another firm has been bringing in people to serve as labourers.
GAWU reminded that Guyanese are competent and skilled enough to be given jobs in the oil sector. Recently, several Government Ministers implored oil companies to hire sugar workers who were displaced.
GAWU said locals continue to be treated less favourable than foreigners in the sector and has been forced to operate under poorer conditions. The Union said it considers the treatment of Guyanese workers disrespectful and discriminatory.
Additionally, foreign workers are reportedly benefitting from housing, subsistence, and other allowances while local workers are not provided with the same.
The Union said it hopes that the Government can pay attention to Guyanese involvement in the sector in the Local Content Legislation.
A few weeks ago, it was the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce that complained that many foreign companies are being given preference for major contracts over local companies.