By Jean Rovys Dabany
LIBREVILLE (Reuters) - Gabon's oil workers union said on Sunday it had suspended a week-long strike after the government agreed to improve working conditions for Gabonese staff and expel about 3,000 undocumented foreign employees.
Oil workers in Gabon have long complained about higher wages paid to expatriate workers and say many of them do not have the right work permits and papers.
"The government has given us what we want," ONEP union spokesman Aime Ipandi told Reuters by telephone.
A senior official at Gabon's energy ministry said the government had reached a deal with the striking oil workers, but declined to comment on the expulsion of 3,000 undocumented foreign workers in the sector.
Oil majors Total and Royal Dutch Shell have said the strike did not affect their operations, despite union reports to the contrary.
The two companies dominate Gabon's roughly 240,000 barrels-per-day oil sector, and previous strikes by ONEP have forced them to shut their fields.
Smaller players in the sector, including Maurel & Prom, Perenco and Addax, did not comment on the effect of the strike, which began on March 9.
However, production at Gabon's sole oil refinery, which has a capacity of 21,000 barrels-per-day, has been halted for three-weeks of planned maintenance.
The latest industrial action came after the union accused the government of failing to apply a 2010 agreement to use more Gabonese workers.
Oil revenues contribute around 60 percent of the African state's budget.