Oil company workers in Myanmar are considering strike action over the 1 February military coup in the oil and gas producer nation as demonstrations by supporters of the ousted democratic government spread this week.
While operator personnel and contracting staff have not as yet decided to down tools, sources on the ground told Upstream that strike action remains a possibility.
Operations at upstream facilities are continuing as planned, however only essential workers are remaining in the field with most staff working from home, according to local media.
Thousands of people took to the streets of Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon again on 17 February after a new charge was announced against ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who remained under house arrest as Upstream went to press.
United Nations special rapporteur on Myanmar, Tom Andrews, said ahead of the rallies that he had received reports of soldiers being transported into Yangon from other regions, adding that he feared “we could be on the precipice of the military committing even greater crimes against the people of Myanmar”.
“In the past, such troop movements preceded killings, disappearances, and detentions on a mass scale,” he was quoted as saying by UK newspaper The Guardian.
Opponents of Myanmar’s military coup on Wednesday rejected the army's assertion that there was public support for their overthrowing of elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Protesters are not convinced by the junta’s assurances, given at a news conference on Tuesday, that it would hold a fair election and would hand over power if defeated.
Nobel Peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi now faces a new charge of violating a Natural Disaster Management Law on top of charges for illegally importing six walkie talkie radios.
More than 400 people have been arrested since the coup, while the military has repeatedly blocked communications. On Tuesday, an internet blackout was imposed for the third night running, according to the monitoring group NetBlocks.
The shock coup came after the military alleged irregularities in last November’s polls that had returned Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy to power with an increased majority.
Military spokesman Zaw Min Tun earlier this week claimed that both Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint were in a “safer place” and “in good health”.
“It’s not like they were arrested — they are staying at their houses,” the general, who became the country’s vice minister of information after the coup, told a press conference.
Their next court hearing is scheduled for 1 March.