By Samuel Ansah Boateng

After MODEC Ghana Limited , the company that operates and manages the Kwame Nkrumah FPSO snubbed a directive from the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Petroleum Minister, Emmanuel Armah Kofi Buah, to reinstate about 27 local workers who were wrongfully dismissed for embarking on a peaceful demonstration against salary disparities and other poor working conditions, the Divisional Executives and Management Committee of the TUC, will today meet to decide the fate of the workers.

wpid-modec-300x175.jpgThe TUC believes MODEC had managed to ?severe the working relationship of some 9 workers of the Catering Department with 13 additional colleagues in the same Dept totaling 22 workers who were all part of the Union and up till today, the remaining 18 out of the 27 dismissed workers have been served with a Redundancy Notice since 2nd April 2014.?

The meeting however, according to TUC will devise strategies which would seek to safeguard the other remaining 18 workers who have also received threatening dismissal letters.

Readers will recall from a one day strike action embarked by local workers, working on the Kwame Nkrumah FPSO, last year, over salary disparities and other poor working conditions.

The workers demanded equal salaries and good working conditions as their colleague expatriates.
For instance, they received an average of Ghc2, 500- Ghc3, 000 a month while their expatriate counterparts received an average of about 5,000 to 10,000 dollars, a difference of about 80%, hence their action.

But MODEC?s in-country Manager, John Barnes on 2nd April 2015, explaining the company?s dismissal decision in a letter said low oil cost and high industry cost had affected their main client, TULLOW OIL, and however became imperative that it reduced cost of operation to ensure cost effectiveness and efficiency, hence the dismissal of those local workers.

However, Mr. Fuseini Iddrisu, General Secretary for the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, a subsidiary of the Trade Union Congress, on behalf of the workers, on his part replied, the letter was in bad taste since it flouted a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the company and the TUC.

According to him, MODEC and the TUC, on behalf of the workers in a meeting held at the Ministry of Employment and
Labor Relations on 19th November 2014, singed the MOU to reinstate the workers, and was however unacceptable and unlawful to go behind the agreement, only in the interest of pinning down the local workers.

Chairman for the unionized workers, Mr. Samuel Quarshie also in an interview with this reporter bemoaned MODEC?s decision not to reinstate the sacked workers as ordered by the TUC and the Petroleum Minister.

According to him it was very unfair and inhumane to pin down the local workers under the pretext of restructuring the company.

?The company who claim is carrying out a redundancy exercise is the same company employing expatriates to take over those same positions, they said they were outsourcing them to a new company but after the exercise on 18th December 2014, they went ahead to employ same capacity of staff in a company called Newco Logistics ltd, to fill the positions they claimed was being made redundant in the catering department ,? he added.


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