Ghanaian workers of MODEC [who operate the FPSO] are protesting what they say is the huge disparity in salaries and conditions of service as compared to their foreign counterparts even though they all do the same work.
According to the protestors, they are paid between Ghȼ2,500 to Ghȼ3,000 a month while their expatriate counterparts take an average of between $5,000 to $10,000, a difference of about 800%.
They have therefore laid down their tools- an action which is threatening to impede oil production in the country.
Communications Consultant to the Energy Ministry, Edward Bawa, told Joy News that while they believe in the general principle that people doing the same job should be earning the same amount of money, the oil industry is an infant one and there appear to be some disparities in salaries.
The disparities in salaries have come largely because the expatriates appear more skilled with a higher level of expertise than their local counterparts.
In the short term, the Energy Consultant said the Petroleum Commission is meeting with the angry workers to resolve their grievances.
He added there was an initial proposal of 17 per cent increase in salaries but it appears negotiations have broken down.
He said the ministry would also intervene to resolve the impasse.
In the medium to long term however, Edward Bawa said the Ministry has set up three committees to look into possible compensation to local employees after a thorough salary appraisal has been conducted; undertaking a career development and training which is aimed at bridging the level of expertise between the local employees and their foreign counterparts and finally an organisational development programme to generally improve the competencies of the local service providers.