Oil Workers Go Home

Oil services companies in Ghana have begun laying off their staff.

This, according to the companies, is due to the decline in the price of crude on the world market.

Five major oil services companies, Halliburton, Schlumberger, Stella Logistics, Baker Hughes and Expo Gas have begun a retrenchment exercise that would culminate in the dismissal of over 100 Ghanaian workers.

They have thus served notice to the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union to begin negotiations over their redundancy package.

Confirming this move to Citi News , Deputy General Secretary of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, Francis Sallah indicated that ‘Halliburton has served notice to lay off five Ghanaians, Schlumberger has written to us of 20 or 30, Stella Logistics says it is looking at cutting it total overheads cost by 25 percent, Baker Hughes is laying off around 20, and Expo 6 or 7.’

He added that the union is currently in talks with all the companies to arrive at acceptable redundancy package for all the affected workers.

Meanwhile, sources at Schlumberger, Baker Hughes and Halliburton, have also revealed a trend where Ghanaian technicians working for the oil services companies are made to work on oil rigs in countries such as South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Benin and other places, but are denied the conditions and package given their colleague African nationals who are brought to work on Ghanaian rigs.

‘Our checks in some other African countries showed that drivers for some of the companies, especially in South Africa and Angola receive three times the salaries given to Ghanaian technicians who are flown to rigs in these countries. This trend, we are told, affects the redundancy package given to affected workers.’

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