Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) Kwame Awuah-Darko has expressed optimism that most of the top-notch personnel of the company who left the firm to seek opportunities abroad when its operations grounded to a halt will return to the firm’s fold to help drive its agenda.
TOR suffered an exodus of a number of its highly rated employees, mostly engineers, to oil companies in the Middle East when crippling debts, which amounted to GHS1.9 billion in 2015, forced it to cut jobs.
But given the resurgence of TOR, which has resumed operations and now exports petroleum products to neighbouring African states, the CEO holds a strong view that engineers of the company will return to its fold.
Asked by Chief Jerry Forson on Accra100.5FM’s morning show, Ghana Yensom, on May 3, 2016, if he would want to see the company’s former engineers back, he answered in the affirmative, adding: “Indeed, it is something towards which we have already initiated efforts.”
He revealed that some of TOR’s former staff living in Qatar, Oman, and the rest of the Middle East, had formed a group known as Former Workers of TOR on instant messaging app WhatsApp where, among others, they have been offering technical advice, which have played a part in TOR’s transformation.
Mr Awuah-Darko continued: “TOR is one company you cannot turn your back on once you have worked there. It is a company former staff have great love for. So, I believe that as we expand, some will have a mind change and return to our fold to push TOR’s progress with their ideas.
“But even if they do not come back, engineers are being trained every day in Ghana, many graduating from KNUST (the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology). In the same way we trained high quality engineers to be able to serve on the international market, TOR will be able to train new engineers to be of even greater quality and be able to serve the Ghanaian market.”
The TOR boss denied assertions that the oil refinery was still shedding staff as it had not fully come out of crisis. According to him, no employee of the company had been laid off since he assumed office.
He added that at a meeting with union leaders, retrenchment was one of the options on the table but then the unions and management agreed that in lieu of laying workers off, there would be a “collective sacrifice”, which meant each worker giving up a month’s salary to help the company remain afloat, ensuring that all workers remained at post.
He assured that the amount of sacrifice will be rewarded to workers soon as the company had begun to rake in profits.