Workers in the country’s oil and gas industry are demanding a comprehensive salary structure to end the salary disparity between local and expatriate workers.
The General Transport Petro-Chemical Workers Union (GTPWU) say workers are not happy about their working conditions and are therefore asking government to give true meaning to local content policy.
Since the discovery and subsequent exploration of hydrocarbon off the coast of Cape Three Points in the Western Region, Ghanaians working in the sector have been remonstrating about their salaries and working conditions.
The local workers want to be paid the same salary as that of any other foreign national doing the same work with them.
GTPW acting as negotiators for the local workers have been engaging management at the various enterprise levels in a bid to address the salary disparity.
But according to the Union, the management of the oil and gas companies insists once they are paying more than the minimum wage they are not doing anything illegal.
Western Region Industrial Relations Officer of the GTPW Richard Hansen stated local workers are not happy.
“We are appealing to the president and the ministry at large to ensure that we have what we call a comprehensive salary structure in the oil and gas industry that will curtail the disparities in the oil and gas sector,” he said.
Mr. Hansen maintained if an expatriate and a Ghanaian worker work as a mechanic there should not be any justification for them not to earn the same salary.
“We cannot tell the management to pay us equal as the country manager. We are comparing apple to apple; we are not comparing apples to tomatoes whatsoever. What we are saying is that if an expatriate is doing the same job as mechanic as Ghanaian, their salary should be equal.
“Of course for working conditions there can be variations because they’re expatriate; in terms of accommodation and other things, but in terms of salary it should be equal because the law says equal pay equal work,” he argued.
Mr. Hansen said noted that Ghana is lucky that its oil is in the high waters, indicating that if not it would have been a disastrous situation for the country more than what the Nigerians are facing now because “our people who are working in the industry are not happy.
“The reason being that the local content managers who are supposed to ensure the law works, I’m sorry to say, have gone to sleep”.