The strike by workers on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah is likely to cost Ghana huge sums in oil revenue.
A vessel, the Arctic, arrived last Tuesday to lift almost a million barrels of oil from the belly of the FPSO, but the Arctic is now anchored at the Jubilee Fields two days after its arrival because of the strike.
Ghana and the Jubilee Partners are expected to pay between $30,000 and $40,000 in demurrage charges if the ship delays further at the anchorage.
To avoid the huge demurrage, the operator of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, MODEC Ghana, is considering other options to load the Arctic, while it works to resolve the issues with the workers.
However, the workers have vowed not to resume work until their grievances are addressed.
The current situation is that the cleaners, technical staff and cooks on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah who are on the strike have also refused to fly back to shore for replacement until their demands for better conditions of service are met.
Officials of MODEC Ghana are considering sacking the workers if the strike continues.
To protect the installation and ensure that the striking workers do not disrupt operations, the Western Regional Police Command, at the request of MODEC Ghana, has deployed seven policemen to ensure the safety of other workers on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah.
Production of oil on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, which is automated, is currently going on undisrupted.
The In-country Manager of MODEC, Mr Jones Barnes, has said the decision of the workers to embark on the strike without prior notice and without cause was in complete disregard of sections 159 and 160 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
In a letter, he warned the striking workers that they would lose their remuneration for the period they were on strike, in pursuant of Section 168 of the Act.
The letter justified the request by MODEC for police protection of the multi-million dollar production platform.
By the letter, MODEC Ghana requested all employees who were engaged in the strike to leave the installation and attend a meeting in Takoradi to discuss the situation, but the workers thought the meeting was a ploy to eject them from the platform.
Some of the workers were of the view that bringing them to the shore was a ploy to send other workers to perform their duties.
They said they would not move, would remain calm but would not work until they received a directive from their mother union onshore.
Source: Graphic Online
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