“They have signed ready-made applications stating that we want to deduct voluntarily part of our salaries”
Oil workers are complaining about the one-percent fee of their salaries that goes directly to a mandatory membership of President’s Ilham Aliyev ruling party, the New Azerbaijan Party.
“Almost all employees of all departments and enterprises of the State Oil Company are members of the New Azerbaijan Party. Some joined the party out of desire and some out of fear of dismissal. Recently, one-percent of our salary started to be deducted as a membership fee to the Party, and no one, including me, can object to this”.
The oil worker, who did not want to be identified, told Meydan TV he was afraid of being fired. According to him, he works in difficult conditions at the sea. Membership fees are charged not only from the tariff salaries, but also from the salary supplements for additional hazard.
In addition to the Party’s fee, there are compulsory health insurance, payments to the State Social Protection Fund, income tax and a few other payments that are deducted from the workers’ salary. However, the membership fee is what bothers the most the workers. “We pay one-percent membership fee to the New Azerbaijan Party and they have ready-made applications that we have to sign, claiming that we want to deduct voluntary membership fees from salaries”, explains the oilman.
According to our interviewed, oil workers are convinced that the country’s leadership, as well as the party, are unaware of the deductions.
The head of the Organization for the Protection of Oil Workers’ Rights, Mirvari Gahramanli, told Meydan TV that her organization has received numerous complaints about the deduction and that workers are afraid of being fired if they do not sign the agreement.
According to Gahramanli, employees who refuse to sign a ready-made application in connection with the transfer of one percent of all earnings to the New Azerbaijan Party are threatened.
The problem of collecting mandatory membership fees is not new. In February of this year, employees of the state enterprise also complained about the mandatory collection of party membership fees and the increase of membership fees.
From 2013, the membership fee for the party was one AZR. At the end of last year, the party decided to set the membership fee at one-percent of party members’ salary.