By Nana Appiah Acquaye || Roger A. Agana || Francis Tandoh
Executive Director for the Ghana Oil and Gas Service Providers Association (GOSPA), Nuertey Adzeman is warning that going on strike on a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) was quite dangerous to the country.
He was commenting on the recent industrial action embarked upon by some 40 workers employed by MODEC Ghana Limited, the company operating the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah located at the Jubilee Field off the coast of Takoradi, some 218 km west of the national capital.
The local workers complained their expatriate counterparts working on the FPSO received salaries far more than them and wanted the gap to be bridged.
The workers claimed they received an average salary of between GH?2,500 and GH?3,000 a month while their expatriate counterparts are paid about 800 per cent higher in foreign currency and that foreigners who are not even up to their standards took an average of about $5,000 to $10,000 a month.
But speaking exclusively to SpyGhana.com recently, Nuertey Adzeman warned, ?When you are sitting on carbohydron and you are going on strike, if anything goes wrong there, if the thing explodes, we lose human beings, infrastructure and investment as possible.?
He said, ?Yes, it?s a thorny issue but everywhere you go, expatriates are supposed to earn more than the locals. We are looking at managing our wage bill, so it?s a very dicey issue. Yes, there is disparity but I also believe there are avenues to channel the grievances and not going on strike on FPSO.?
The Executive Director advised workers on the FPSO to use negotiation to resolve their contractual differences rather than resorting to industrial unrest.
?There are avenues for which everybody is entitled to what he is entitled to. If you have a contract and you think what you are being given is off term, you need to negotiate. It is something negotiable. I think there are avenues for those going onshore to seek redress rather than going on strike offshore,? he said.
Nuertey Adzeman hinted the country?s Petroleum Commission (PC) was working with GOGSPA to come up with the minimum standard that employers in the sector could use as a basis for paying the wages of the employees to avert future strikes on the FPSO which had dire consequences for the country.
?The PC in collaboration with us is setting the minimum standards. You cannot set how much somebody should pay somebody but you could set the minimum for a particular position so that there would be competition.
So hopefully, by the next quarter next year, we will come up with the guidelines as to how to go about this salaries of offshore workers so that we nib it in the bud once and for all because it is a disgrace to Ghana if workers on the FPSO go on strike,? the GOGSPA Executive Director remarked.