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General News of Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Source: citifmonline.com

MODEC sacks striking Ghanaian FPSO workers


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Information available to citifmonline.com indicates that MODEC, a private company working at Ghana’s FPSO vessel on the Jubilee oil field, has sacked all of the local workers who embarked on a strike to compel the company to increase their salaries.

The local workers laid down their tools to protest what they say is poor working conditions and remunerations.

They claim MODEC pays expatriate workers better than the Ghanaian workers, whose salaries don’t even match industry standards.

Earlier, MODEC had described the strike as illegal claiming they were not given prior notice.

The workers say they were made to sign a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the company awaiting a final deliberation on the issue on Wednesday, “only to be given dismissal letters on Monday.”

The Local Chairman of the Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, Eric Ofori, who confirmed the latest development to citifmonine.com’s Western Regional Correspondent, Obrempong Yaw Ampofo, said that about “98% of the Ghanaian workers have been issued with dismissal letters with immediate effect.”

“We’ve been issued dismissal letters contrary to an MoU signed that we are resuming negotiations on Friday. They postponed the negotiations to Wednesday only for them to issue that letter to our members this afternoon.”

“That is Ghana for you, people standing up [for] their rights [and] this is how far we have come,” said Eric Ofori.

He said they have “informed our national union, they are also aware,” adding that they will take the issue up even if they have to meet with the “President or any quarters we will take it up or even the Supreme Court.”

According to the workers, they receive an average of Ghc2,500 to Ghc3, 000 a month while their expatriate counterparts take an average of about 5,000 to 10,000 dollars, hence their action.

“I see it as an insult to the Ghanaian dignity [and] as a shame to all Ghanaians that the authorities will sit down for this people to come and take our oil and they pay peanuts to qualified Ghanaians and they pay huge sums of money to those who are not more qualified than us and Ghanaians stand up for their right of equality and authorities look on and this people have so much power they think they can do anything to any Ghanaian and go scot free,” he fumed.

Eric Ofori said he is surprised by the action taken by MODEC because the Trades Union Congress had intervened in the matter and MODEC had assured that nothing untoward would happen.

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