MODEC given June 15 deadline to return reinstated workers

The General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) has given MODEC Ghana Ltd, a June 15, 2015 ultimatum to allow some 18 workers back into the FPSO on the Jubilee field.

The chairman of the union Samuel Quarshie in a statement said MODEC risks incurring the wrath of the National Union and its affiliate unions across the country, if it fails to allow the 18 reinstated workers to the facility.

The 18 were laid off after they were accused of instigating the workers to embark on strikes but the Labour Ministry intervened after weeks of turbulence on the field.

The union said months after all 18 workers were reinstated, MODEC did not send the workers to the FPSO. What is worse, it only recently broke the news that the 18 were part of workers affected by company’s decision to lay off workers.

According to MODEC, the redundancy became necessary because of the fall in crude oil prices.

The news about the redundancy was not taken lightly by the union and government as well.

The Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah MODEC intervened again for the the company to rescind its decision to lay off the workers.

“Any matter that government has an interest in should be taken seriously because Government cannot be ridiculed” Emmanuel Armah-Kofi Buah said in a letter to the management of MODEC.

The National Union on its part stated that these 18 highly skilled technical workers cannot be laid off because they only protested peacefully without causing any danger to the facility.

Despite these interventions and protests, Management of MODEC Ghana remains resolute in its decision to lay off the 18 workers.

But the union threatened that if MODEC fails to reinstate the 18 workers it should be ready for the consequences.

“If within 2 weeks from the date of this letter ( 15th June 2015) , these 18 workers are not returned to the facility, the National Union will advise itself and the National Union should not be blamed for any consequences thereof,” the statement said.

The Union Chairman alleged that MODEC has gone ahead to employ foreigners to replace the highly skilled technical local workers, a move to ground the Divisional Union and render it ineffective, but said “the GTPCWU of TUC will not sit down for the Company to carry out this unwarranted intended Redundancy Exercise.”

He asserted that the Union has documentation that exposes the Company’s intentions towards the Locals.

The chairman also accused Tullow Oil of being behind these illegal actions by MODEC Ghana Ltd, saying the company has no excuse to dismiss Ghanaian workers with the excuse of low oil prices only to turn around and employ foreign nationals at a higher cost.

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