This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Algeria's Southern Unemployed Demand Oil Jobs

By AOMAR OUALI and PAUL SCHEMM

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) â¿¿ Protests by the unemployed in southern Algeria are raising the specter of rising unrest in the country's sensitive oil regions, and are increasingly attracting the attention of al-Qaida.

Algeria's vast, sparsely populated Sahara only holds 10 percent of the country's population but it is home to this North African country's enormous oil and gas reserves â¿¿ the basis of the entire economy and the source of the government's power. Those who live there claim they aren't benefiting from that wealth, and can't get jobs with the oil companies.

Now al-Qaida has praised the protesters, raising the possibility that it is seeking support among the disaffected groups. The government is rushing to address the protesters' demands, but hasn't yet convinced them that it's serious.

Some 10,000 people â¿¿ an enormous number for the lightly populated region â¿¿demonstrated on March 14 in Algeria's southern oil city of Ouargla, and thousands more later protested in another southern oil town, Laghouat.

"We want access to jobs in the oil companies, and not just the low-value ones like drivers and security guards; we want to be in the administration," Tahar Belabes, the head of the National Committee for Defense of the Rights of the Unemployed, which organized the demonstration, said by telephone from Ouargla.

"We just want the same employment possibilities. It's not normal that we live in the region where the oil and gas is located but don't benefit from it."

While youth unemployment is widespread in Algeria, and the rest of North Africa, the southerners say they are particularly discriminated against. There is also a widespread distrust of government officials, who are believed corrupt and skimming off the country's vast oil receipts.

Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal acknowledged on March 16 that the demonstrators' demands are legitimate and the government hurriedly announced a string of measures to address the perceived geographical bias in oil jobs. Oil companies will be obliged to give priority to job candidates from the south and recruitment must occur through registered employment agencies. The government announced that job-training centers would be set up to ready candidates for jobs with oil companies and hotels.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

Chart of I:DJI
DOW 16,351.38 +293.03 1.82%
S&P 500 1,948.86 +35.01 1.83%
NASDAQ 4,749.9790 +113.8740 2.46%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs