Fear Grips TOR Workers

Workers of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) fear they would be laid off as the plant has been idle for about seven months due to the unavailability of crude oil.

They say even though the refinery had undergone routine maintenance, workers were still waiting for the government to provide it with crude oil to refine.

Union leaders who raised other key concerns at a general meeting of the Tema District Council of Labour disclosed that more than 800 workers are currently being paid with an overdraft because the company is not operating.

This they said has largely affected their Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) contributions, which cannot be catered for at this time.

The TOR workers are blaming the current crisis on successive governments who have declared the facility non profitable and are refusing to take bold initiatives to revive it.

The Union leaders who sounded very frustrate and angry feared, the worst could soon come with massive layoffs  if the current situation stays a little longer.

They debunked assertions that TOR was making losses, and said politicians must stop shortchanging TOR’s capacity with their parochial interests to store fuel from the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) for profit.

The TOR workers also accused the  Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Tema District Council of Labour for poorly intervening on their behalf.

Secretary to the Tema District Council of Labour, Emmanuel Addo-Kumi,   in a brief response, denied conspiring with the government saying that a draft on the issue had been presented to the Finance Minister for consideration.

He said the current situation is volatile and therefore called for cool heads to prevail while efforts are made to further engage government and the TUC.