By Juliet DUGBARTEY, Apremdo

More than 50 workers of Schlum Berger, an oil service firm in the Western Region, on Monday demonstrated against the management over poor working conditions.

They complained bitterly against the oil firm not increasing their salaries for the past two years because they had proposed to join a labour union, and described their working conditions as very bad

In a petition to the Regional Secretary of the Ghana Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU), the workers have given a five-day working ultimatum to management to respond to agitations raised during a two-day negotiation meeting which ended in deadlock

Mr. Charles Acheampong, Chairman of Schlum Berger Workers Union, in a petition explained that every expatriate receives a daily meal allowance of GH?60; meanwhile, the basic salary of a graduate Ghanaian with over three years? experience in the company is less than GH?1,800.

?Management expects us to work outside working hours with no pay — a level of discrimination is exhibited by expatriates against Ghanaian locals due to the fact that we receive low remuneration — and for that matter we are cheap,? he said.

He said the Labour Act that speaks of equal work, equal pay, never existed between locals and expatriate workers — management refuses to implement the Labour Act on overtime and on the general local practices of Ghana.

He pointed out that management has threatened to place not less than 20 employees on redundancy because the union insists on discussing issues on monetary values — global bonus schemes for offshore workers are not applied equally to Ghanaian workers, but instead applies the scheme for expatriates only.

Mr. Richard Hanson, the Regional Secretary of the Ghana Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union who received their petition, said it is high time Ghanaians rise to the call to strive for their rights.

He further assured the workers of the mother union?s support ? ?none of you will be deprived of his employment for demanding better working conditions and salary?.

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