Industrial Action Ghana Gas workers to lay down tools over BOST takeover

This was contained in a statement from the Ghana National Gas Workers Union of the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union GTPCWU of the Trades Union Congress TUC signed by the unions chairman Richmond Alamu.

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Workers of the Ghana National Gas Company Limited have issued a three weeks ultimatum to government to rescind its decision of handing over the management of the Ghana National Gas pipeline to the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited BOST, “failure with which the union will have no choice but to advice itself and if necessary lay down our tools from August 26, 2016 in protest of our displeasure at the state of affairs at the company”.

This was contained in a statement from the Ghana National Gas Workers Union of the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union GTPCWU of the Trades Union Congress TUC signed by the unions chairman Richmond Alamu.

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According to the union “workers of Ghana Gas feels slighted and undervalued by the government, the Finance and Petroleum ministries for going ahead to announce the takeover of the company’s facilities without any engagement”.

“Ghana Gas personnel, apart from working tirelessly and delivering on its mandate to curtail the ‘dumsor’ situation, is also saving the government of Ghana of harsh invoice balances from the importation of light crude oil for energy production. Considering these beneficial deliverables on the company’s part, the local union least expects government to engage in such demotivation fragmentation of the company by siphoning its important installations to other state agencies without tangible synergistic plan for a win-win manifesto,” the statement said in part.

Even though the union said “there was a directive from the ministry of petroleum to BOST to take over the management of the natural gas facilities without any engagement,… we are yet to receive any official communication from government or the sector ministry about the proposed takeover [by BOST]. The union is of the view that such decisions demoralize personnel and may ultimately affect productivity in the long run”.

Mr. Alamu also noted in the statement that “hardly has the Ghana Gas facility begun charting a sustainable growth path geared at maximizing the nation’s gas reserves for profitable power generation than for its major pipelines to be handed over to BOST as named owner, operator and transporter of gas via our pipelines”.

Use monies from energy levy to defray VRA indebtedness 
The workers also want government to use monies accrued into the Energy Levy Fund to pay for the over $350 million “VRA’s chronic indebtedness to Ghana Gas being the invoice value for lean gas supplied for its power production”.

The union says the ripple effect of the VRA’s indebtedness to Ghana Gas “has virtually disabled the company from meeting its debt servicing obligation to the China Development Bank, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation for its raw gas exported to the Atuabo Gas Processing Plant”.

The statement added that “the graveness of this indebtedness has prevented the company from instituting any tangible remuneration and benefits package to its dedicated and hardworking personnel”.

“We therefore request the government of Ghana and the relevant MDA’s, as a matter of urgency to release monies accrued from the Energy Debt Levy to Ghana Gas to help sustain the latter’s operations. Should this fail, we shall resolve to resort to this very harsh position [lay down tools] since we do not want Ghana Gas to become a highly indebted agency like TOR, VRA, ECG and other state agencies”.

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