Exclusive information reaching Adom News indicates that following a 24hour sit down strike by Ghanaian riggers on Transocean’s Jack Ryan rig in the offshore Jubilee Oil Field, management of the mother company in Dubai has increased the workers’ salaries by 17% across board, beginning August 1, 2014.
The increment was contained in letters from Transocean’s head office in Dubai, dated 10 th August, 2014, and addressed to each of the three recruitment agencies; Menergy International, Rig World and Ocean Platform.
It practically order the agencies to increase salaries by 17% and cautioned that Transocean would be monitoring through various means to see the increment reflect on the pay slips of workers.
Rig Manager Mark Kressin communicated the new increment to the three recruitment companies in the presence of the striking workers, an official of the Petroleum Commission Ghana, and expat workers at a meeting onboard the rig on Sunday.
He also warned the recruitment agencies not to victimize any of the workers as they had always done when workers spoke out about poor salaries.
But the workers were said to have expressed dismay with the level of the increment and demanded an additional 8% so that their salaries would be at par with their counterparts on other rigs in the Jubilee Field.
Kressin however pleaded with the workers to take the 17% for now, and he promised to take their request back to Dubai and bring them a response by Friday, August 15, 2014.
He was said to have appealed to the workers saying that for every one hour they refused to work he (Kressin) lost US$18,000.
The workers were said to have issued an ultimatum to the rig manager that if they do not hear any positive result by the promised date, August 15, 2014, they will embark on a more intense strike action.
But the workers are now back to work on Jack Ryan.
This is the second time recruitment agencies and rig owners have increased the salaries of Ghanaian riggers following publications by Adom News on the unfair treatment being meted out to Ghanaian riggers in the Jubilee Oil Field.
The first time was when two other recruitment agencies rallied their riggers and topped up their salaries by up to GHC2,000 each following a publication by Adom News. The two recruitment agencies topped up the salaries without recourse to the oil companies; and the riggers said that meant the agencies have always had the money to pay but they just refused to.
Another set of riggers on FPSO Kwame Nkrumah recently held a demo and that made the rig owners and Tullow Oil incur huge losses.
When Adom News called the recruitment agency for that rig, Modec Ghana Limited, the CEO, whose named was only given as Murali, refused to comment, saying “we do not talk to the media.”
Modec queried each of the about the 45 workers who embarked on the demo but the workers referred the query letters to their mother union, who are not handling the matter at the union level.
But information reaching Adom News indicated Murali and one of his lieutenants have since visited their head office in Singapore to go get authorization to sort the workers out, instead of the initial highhanded measure he employed.
Meanwhile, the workers are threatening to embark on another strike if they do not hear from Murali and his men in the next few days.
The PCG has also promised to meet with all stakeholders and thrash out the issues of low salaries in the industry to forestall further agitations, which are eminent.
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