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Thousands of Iraqi oil workers are losing their jobs

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 02:06s - Published
Thousands of Iraqi oil workers are losing their jobs

Thousands of Iraqi oil workers are losing their jobs

Of about 80,000 Iraqis working in the oilfields, some 10,000 to 15,000 are now said to be out of a job.

Joe Davies reports.

Mohammed Haider, a security worker in Iraq's vast southern oilfields, thought he was safe after signing a new one-year contract to guard oil facilities.

Three days later, he was out of a job.

He spoke at a protest outside the Basra Oil Company headquarters, the national partner for foreign companies operating in southern Iraqi oil fields.

''Our company threw us out and left us on the sidewalk," he says.

With oil prices plummeting, in March Iraq asked international oil companies to cut their budgets by 30%.

Energy companies in the south of Iraq responded by cutting costs.

According to local authorities, subcontractors including security firms let thousands of workers go.

Of about 80,000 Iraqis working in the oil fields, some 10,000 to 15,000 are not out of work, one local government official in Basra said.

Haider, a father-of-three, now spends his days searching in vain online for a new job.

But there's little on offer.

He worries how he'll be able to cover school and medical costs for his family.

''The companies have terminated our services," he says.

"Iraqis, expats and experts alike.

But we, the Iraqis, are harmed the most because we have a lot of commitments [expenses].

We will not be able to meet our daily life needs.

There are no other jobs than the ones we were doing, I was focusing on this job.'' The British security company that employed Haider declined to comment on staffing or layoffs.




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