A SOCAR gas station

Source: Adapted from Matti Blume via Wikimedia Commons as shared by CC BY-SA 4.0

Caption: A SOCAR gas station

SOCAR allegedly demanding employees' families be vaccinated

Article was updated on :  19 April 2021

A COVID-19 vaccination is compulsory for employees at SOCAR (State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic). Allegedly employees have been instructed that their family members have also been vaccinated and submit a document confirming this to the institutions where they work.

Azer Huseynov, the son of one of SOCAR's oil workers, informed Meydan TV about the situation. He said his father wanted him and his mother vaccinated for fear of being fired. His mother agreed, but Azer does not want to be vaccinated.

"People should be given the right to choose. I'm not against vaccination, I'm just watching the foreign press and then will make my decision."

Offshore oil workers said those who had been infected with COVID-19 weren't being vaccinated until six months since the infection passes. Therefore, they will continue to work as before, staying in quarantine at the hotel and taking tests before going to work. "Sometimes people say that vaccinators should be tested when they go to work because there is a possibility of infection, and sometimes they say the opposite. In any case, it is better to be vaccinated than to remain in quarantine. However, it is not the right decision to vaccinate our family members|, said an employee of the company who did not want to be named.

A group of oil workers, who also did not want to be named, said there was a greater risk of infection on ships leaving for work. Because the social distancing is not practiced, sometimes those who are not quarantined in the hotel go with them.

The Chairperson of the Organization for the Protection of Oil Workers' Rights Mirvari Gahramanli told Meydan TV that she also had information that family members of SOCAR employees had been instructed to be vaccinated:

E-mail that SOCAR employees received stating their families should be vaccinated

E-mail that SOCAR employees received stating their families should be vaccinated

Source: Meydan TV

"It came to our notice then. It is inadmissible to put pressure on an employee to vaccinate family members.

Human Rights Activist Gahramanli also considers it important to investigate the reasons why oil workers working at offshore facilities are not transferred to a normal work schedule if the social distance on ships is not protected.

According to Gahramanli, over a thousand oil workers have been kept in quarantine at various hotels since the beginning of the pandemic. Although the oil workers were previously quarantined in the Athletes' Village, they were not quarantined there after one worker took their own life.

SOCAR spokesman Ibrahim Ahmadov told local media that after both doses of the vaccine, the worker will return to a normal work schedule. However, Ahmadov did not say whether the family members of the workers were required to be vaccinated.

Meydan TV's requests to most of the hotels went unanswered. Ramada Hotel confirmed that the oil workers were quarantined there, but did not provide figures.

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Article was updated on :  19 April 2021
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