Business News of Sunday, 4 January 2015
The General Transport and Chemical Workers Union of Ghana is threatening an industrial action against MODEC, a private company working on Ghana’s FPSO vessel on the Jubilee oil field, for failing to ensure its members who embarked on a strike last year are fully reinstated.
The Vice Chairman of the Union, Francis Sallah, said the strike by all its member unions “will be in solidarity with the sacked workers of MODEC”.
He said, “management of MODEC are failing to abide by their side of the bargain to get the workers that were dismissed for demonstrating over better conditions of service on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah back to offshore to work.”
Mr. Sallah revealed that the company has “replaced the sacked MODEC workers with Vietnamese and South Africans, and is paying them huge salaries; 4 times what they were of our Ghanaians.”
According to him, though MODEC asked the dismissed workers to resume work by December 15, 2014, it [ MODEC] had not taken any further step to reinstate the workers.
Mr. Sallah added that, “we have served letters to management of MODEC drawing their attention to it, but they only promised to get back to us as they are on holidays since 26th December”.
He said the union is threatening another strike action saying, “all relevant agencies have been served the letters and from Monday, if management fail to begin getting the workers offshore, steps will be taken to activate our branches for a solidarity action.
About 40 Ghanaian MODEC workers on October 29, 2014 embarked on an industrial action to protest poor working conditions and remunerations.
The management of MODEC later terminated the appointment of 27 of the local workers.
All efforts by the Petroleum Commission to resolve the impasse proved futile which forced MODEC to drag the workers before the National Labour Commission (NLC).
Subsequently, 12 local workers of MODEC withdrew their services in solidarity with their dismissed colleagues.
Ghanaian workers in the petroleum sector, in 2014, also began a solidarity strike to demand the reinstatement of the dismissed MODEC workers.
It included the workers of the Petroleum Tankers Union, the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited (WAPCo), Bulk Oil Storage & Transportation Co. Ltd. (BOST), Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and also had the backing of the Trade Union Congress (TUC).