Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Libya


NickP

Recommended Posts

Who do you think should be responsible for getting Oil and construction workers out of Libya, the British government or the companies they worked for, i.e. Shell or BP among others. All I hear on the news is people complaining about the government, I don't hear anybody questioning the efforts of the companies they work for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Getting in and out of Libya is not easy as one requires visas to leave the country which in turn require bits of paper (simplified version), and I suppose the usual formalities are not exactly possible!.

Some of these workers are in places where there are no airfields or ports and getting to same would mean crossing hundreds of kms which could be controlled by who knows. Much of the time, it is easier to stay in place and not panic. However, if you are at the coast or an airport, then it is not difficult to be picked up and got out, IF it is safe..

As far as I know, few expats have been in danger, even if their feathers have been ruffled, so no need to panic. The oil companies and others need to keep them informed and work with the UK consulate to do what is best, rather than shooting from the hip.

When I was there, there was trouble and some were out of the country like rats off a ship but we never ever felt in danger or threatened.

No panic guys!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

With such a leader as Libya has had for years, I would have thought that the staff and oil companies would have had contingency plans for such an event. In fact it would probably have been one of the questions I would have been asking at any interview.

Also do these expats who want help actually pay UK tax?

A few days ago french ministers were saying 'no rush' to getting people out, 'what a difference a day makes', nez pah.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly, if they are at the coast, then they can be picked up easily, if things are that bad, and the Brits have at least to warships there which should be enough.

The people at airports are being picked up by Hercules transports and those in the east by a warship in Benghazi harbour.

So, where is the problem? With those having to go cross country and they cannot be helped too easily unless special forces are used.

In my day, the Libyans protected us.

As I said, cool, cool.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On brit tv it is the oil workers who are way out in the middle of the desert that are saying that they are at risk. Some, so they say, have already been attacked and the area looted too. Also there are big distances between the various 'pockets' of workers too, making it harder for them to be picked up.

A ex SAS man was saying that they couldn't send in helicos for them in case there were fighter pilots loyal to Ghadaffi as helicos were easy targets.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="idun"] A ex SAS man was saying that they couldn't send in helicos for them in case there were fighter pilots loyal to Ghadaffi as helicos were easy targets.[/quote]

That's not necessarily true especially with the current mechanical state of the Libyan air-force. Most of the aircraft, with the exception of some Hercules and a few Mirages (I doubt he would let any of the latter fly as two have already ended up in Malta) the rest are old Soviet Russian aircraft and can't fly due to lack of spares. Modern UK military helicopters have very sophisticated ECM equipment that would be more than sufficient to avoid any of the ancient soviet technology. Trouble is the UK does not exactly have many helicopters that can operate in a desert environment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quite frankly, although I hope there are no more deaths / injuries of anyone, Libyan or Bristish or French or, or ,or.... the oil workers were probably paid extremely well to be in Libya due to the danger... so it's up to them to take some personal responsibility. I.e not the Government or the Oil Company.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I believe the country to which they are a citizen should get them out under the current circumstances. Later, if the country feels the need, they can bill the respective oil (or whatever) company for the costs. Anyway I can't quite see some RN chappy standing on the dock next to his frigate asking people trying to escape if they pay tax in the UK and if they don't telling them to b*gger off, it's just not cricket.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If people put themselves in harms way to earn a living , it is up to them to spend their money to get back out of it.

Anyone who is in these unstable countries should be getting out now and not waiting till the last minuet for someone to come and rescue them.

Tunisia happened months ago , this lot in Libya have had plenty of time to get out.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not too sure these guys get big paychecks anymore just a tax free bonus at the end. When I left the RAF, well actually shortly before, British Aerospace came and did a presentation about going out to Saudi Arabia, what the conditions were like and how much money you could make tax free. Those that went got around the same salary as in the UK but tax free, the biggest thing was the end of contract bonus, also tax free, which many used to buy a semi (detached house) outright. A few years back I came across an advert for the same type of job I would have taken and it was nowhere near as attractive financially as it was back then.

Don't we have a member who's working in that neck of the woods? It would be interesting to hear what he has to say because I think a certain amount of assumptions are being made that may not necessarily be right.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On the 'Your Say' section of the BBC News website there were a lot of people saying that they do not pay UK tax so why should UK taxpayers pick up the bill.

Someone then posted saying 'oh yes they do pay tax' - between 8% and 15%. Fine but that is to the Libyan authorities (Thinks would not mind paying tax at that rate).

I found that comment amazing and a total misunderstanding. On that basis it should be the Libyans who rescue them.

There were also comments that they would have known what Gaddafi was like and that the area is volatile so they should have weighed up the risks before going.

And surely their emploers have a Duty of Care.

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course the implication of the question is that brits work for Shell and BP, and presumable the French for Total, Italians for Eni etc..

 

The reality is that the oil industry is multinational and so is its workforce.  Add to that that some of those now trapped in Lybia will be working for small companies sub contrcated to the oil giants, and that some may even be working for Lybian companies - who is going to get those guys and gals out?

 

I note this morning that the Irish have rescued an English mother and new born child. 

 

In such circumstances it is a question that everyone has to give what help they can - companies and nations.

 

As for those cleverer than thou folk who have said that "they knew the risks and should not have gone to Lybia" - well I hope I never see a post from you about how you have been badly affected by some change in legislation or exchange rate move that leaves you worse off in France than before.  Hindisght is a wonderful thing - and mine is better than most.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="PaulT"]

And surely their employers have a Duty of Care.

Paul

[/quote]

As does the British Government if they hold a British passport and are abroad. Its not so much getting them out it's more to do with protecting them to the point of embarkation thats the biggest concern which is something the companies cannot do especially if the Libyan army loyal to Gaddafi decide to try and shoot them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Andyh4 wrote: 

As for those cleverer than thou folk who have said that "they knew the risks and should not have gone to Lybia" - well I hope I never see a post from you about how you have been badly affected by some change in legislation or exchange rate move that leaves you worse off in France than before.  Hindisght is a wonderful thing - and mine is better than most.

Got up in a bad mood this morning then Andy? what the hell has the exchange rate got to do with Libya?

I asked the original question; as before I retired I was a self employed freelancer. I spent most of my working life abroad; sometimes in strange or unstable countries.Our union didn't get involved in our wage negotiations other than recommending that we asked for at least the going rate in the UK, but they gave us back up by advising and  overseeing our conditions of contract, i.e. Health, living standards, insurance and repatriation should the proverbial hit the fan. From what I can deduce from interviews on the news etc. all I hear is people complaining about the UK government, not the foreign owned companies that employed them, or them selves for signing a contract without safety factors built in. Now the exchange rate and my standard of living when I'm in France???? [:D] [:D] 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I have changed my mind as of now, I think these people should be made to stay and work to keep the oil flowing.

Went past my local Carrefour the other day and wondered why there were so many people getting fuel. Today I went with my little 308 and paid 50 Euros for just over half a tank and it cost me 50 Euros. Thinking something was wrong I asked at the kiosk, the chap pointed at the sign and said the prices went up yesterday with the new delivery, 1.339 for diesel and 1.529 for petrol. Having seen a 'independent reseller' (so not the cheapest) on BBC news last night complaining he had put the prices up to 1.29 for petrol and 1.31 for diesel (in Euros about 1.48 and 1.50 respectively) means petrol in France is now more expensive than the UK, lucky I have a diesel. As far as I can see things can only get worse, a couple of weeks and I reckon €1.40 for diesel in France, our local 'independant' station is charging nearly that already.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Quillan"] Well I have changed my mind as of now, I think these people should be made to stay and work to keep the oil flowing.

 1.339 for diesel and 1.529 for petrol. Having seen a 'independent reseller' (so not the cheapest) on BBC news last night complaining he had put the prices up to 1.29 for petrol and 1.31 for diesel (in Euros about 1.48 and 1.50 respectively) means petrol in France is now more expensive than the UK, lucky I have a diesel. As far as I can see things can only get worse, a couple of weeks and I reckon €1.40 for diesel in France, our local 'independant' station is charging nearly that already. [/quote]

?You might want to do some reverse engineering on those figures, Local Morrisons, one of the cheapest £1.29.9 for petrol @€1.16ish exchange to the pound Fuel en France is definitely cheaper for both I think, (but I do agree, man the pumps til the last man[:D])

How long til the £8 gallon? Didn't want to eat anyway . . .

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="NickP"]Andyh4 wrote: 

As for those cleverer than thou folk who have said that "they knew the risks and should not have gone to Lybia" - well I hope I never see a post from you about how you have been badly affected by some change in legislation or exchange rate move that leaves you worse off in France than before.  Hindisght is a wonderful thing - and mine is better than most.

Got up in a bad mood this morning then Andy? what the hell has the exchange rate got to do with Libya?

 

[/quote]

 

Perfectly good mood Paul.  What has the exchange rate to do with it?

Well when someone says "I am struggling to survive because the exchage rate has just dropped the value of the pound by 33%".

I will be able to say, " But there was always an exchange rate, it is constantly moving and sometimes a lot.  You knew the risks when you came to France."

 

As it happens I have friends in the oil industry who work as independents (so no big oil companies to back them up).  The nature of their job is that they are in places that are not high on the popular tourist destinations and frequently have health warnings and or headline grabbing incidents. 

As Wooly said earlier, these are people with skills trying to do the best for their families, and to be honest if there was oil to be had in Sussex or Charente, I think they would probably choose to work there and be with their families every night, rather than having to work 3 on 3 off in some less than safe part of the world.  I know my friends are not doing it because of some tax advantage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="woolybanana"]So, people who do their best for their families should expect less care than others?[/quote]

Yes, I do come over as hard and uncaring don't I. The point is, these people are expecting more care than others. On my next trip into Tower Hamlets I will not be expecting to be airlifted out. If I choose to take a risk in order to earn a lot, I hope I don't grumble that the government failed me if everything goes sour.

You see, I am not totally convinced on this whole nationality thing. If I choose to go to another part of the world, I choose that place and all that may go wrong. Why should I be rescued from a dangerous situation just because of my passport? People are people are people, surely as much effort should be put into getting all the innocent Libyans out as well???? Their lives are just as important as the Bristish Oil workers, some probably more so.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

People are people are people, surely as much effort should be put into getting all the innocent Libyans out as well???? Their lives are just as important as the Bristish Oil workers, some probably more so.

Watching Question Time last night the answer from Lab/Con seems to be no - the most important are the 55k employed in the UK arms industry.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...