Petroleum workers push for legislation to address salary disparities

The General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union (GTPCWU) is pushing for a legislation to compel companies in the oil and gas industry to pay local workers acceptable salaries.
According to the union, some employers have consistently refused to pay acceptable salaries within the industry.

This, it blamed on lack of legislation which has created a huge disparity between Ghanaians and of expatriates working in the same industry.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Deputy General Secretary of the GTPCWU Francis Sallah said the legislation is the only resort to get multinational companies to pay the right salaries to local workers in the industry.

“What is happening is that if you meet the employers they tell you the laws in this country does not allow or is not compelling them to pay ABC, unlike the other francophone countries where there are specific compensation that must go to the workers,” he explained.

He therefore stated that due to the non-existence of the law, foreign companies are reluctant to fairly compensate local workers in the industry.
“Even though in other countries where these multinational companies operate in, there are clear legislation on how much must be paid and the number of days they must have for holidays,” he said.

Mr. Sallah said the union had realized that the best way to curtail the challenges is to pass a legislation to compel multinational companies to abide by international standards.

Ghanaian workers among the least paid
Ghanaian workers within the oil and gas industry are reported to be the least paid in the world, according to a research conducted by Hays, in 2014.
In October 2014, work came to a standstill at the Jubilee Oil Field after workers operating on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah embarked on a ‘sit down’ strike action over salary disparity.

Petroleum Commission’s view
Speaking to Citi Business News at the time, the Chief Executive Officer of the Petroleum Commission Theophilus Ahwireng said the commission was working hard to ensure fairness in payments of salaries.

“We are making progress with respect to salary differences; a team of our guys are out there doing some work by gathering data in respect of that,” he said.
He explained that even though the commission is pushing fair emolument packages for local workers foreign workers in the industry are always entitled to expatriate premium.