- Does forced labor still exist in Myanmar. If so, does Total E&P Myanmar use it?
- Did the Army commit human rights violations when ensuring the security of the construction project and the facilities?
- Does Total's presence in the country support an unacceptable regime?
- Have legal proceedings been instituted against Total? What was the outcome?
- Why has Total stayed in Myanmar while many other Western companies have left?
- Is the Socio-Economic Program scaled to meet Myanmar's problems?
- Have any third parties objectively and independently tested the quantitative claims of success made by your company with respect to the socio-economic program?
- Is there any way to monitor how the revenues generated by the Yadana project are used by the Myanmar government?
Question 6. Why has Total stayed in Myanmar while many other Western companies have left?
A number of Western companies, particularly from the United States, have left Myanmar for various reasons, although all have been subject to pressure from activist organizations. Total has stayed because we feel that, independently of the pipeline project, we can apply our Code of Conduct in our sphere of operations, our presence is beneficial for the country and pulling out would create a number of problems for the Myanmar people without offering the slightest advantage.
In fact, the country benefits from having a socially responsible company manage the Yadana project.
- Employment conditions: All employees receive higher-than-average wages for the country and are protected by a social safety net. What’s more, the terms of their work contracts, which comply with Total standards, may have a spillover effect on local legislation. The stringent requirements placed on local subcontractors (employment contracts, health and safety guidelines, minimum wages, etc.) are having a similar impact.
- Economic benefits: A number of subcontractors with whom the Group has forged regular, cooperative relationships have been able to expand and improve their technical skills. The project has also created a range of job opportunities and markets for nearby communities.
- Training: During the construction period, nearly 2,000 people were trained in a variety of trades and assigned to technical positions. A US$10-million training program provided more than 100 skilled technicians and managers with the advanced expertise they needed to manage the operating facilities.
- The Socio-Economic Program: Thanks to this program, more than 50,000 people are now healthier and better educated, earning higher wages, and, most importantly, living in a secure environment.
- Socio-political benefits: Other significant contributions include the creation of a civil society in the 25 villages located in the pipeline region and tackling forced labor in those villages through ongoing constructive dialogue with government authorities.
We feel that withdrawing from a country with serious problems is hardly the best way to help it resolve those problems.