Tema, Sept. 28, GNA - Workers of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) are to enjoy a 40 per cent salary increase with immediate effect.
Professor Mike Ocquaye, Minister of Energy who made this known at a press briefing in Tema on Tuesday soon after a meeting with Management and Staff of the Company, stated that the salary increase formed part of an incentive package to motivate the workers to give of their best.
Prof. Ocquaye explained that the Ministry earlier agreed on a 20 per cent increase after the workers had proposed 40 per cent, The Energy Minister said apart from the further adjustment of their salaries, workers of TOR would benefit from rent allowances scheme. To this end, he said, the Ministry would liaise with the Ministry of Works and Housing to secure houses for workers at Nungua. Prof. Ocquaye further stated that employees of the Refinery would also be entitled to risk allowance because of the hazardous nature of their work.
He gave the assurance that all the details involved would be worked out by all the relevant parties within the next few weeks. Aside of these, the Energy Minister said workers of the TOR, who have served five or more years, would benefit from training programmes both locally and internationally to improve upon their skills and competences.
Prof. Ocquaye said a committee would look into other conditions of service not captured so as to bring "equilibrium and satisfaction" among the workers.
He reminded employees of the Refinery that the Ministry had taken these measures to stem the tide of exodus of workers to seek for greener pastures elsewhere.
He, therefore, urged them to "be in Ghana, work in Ghana, and serve in Ghana".
Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong, Managing Director of TOR, thanked the workers for their co-operation in finding an amicable solution to the current problems confronting the Company.
Dr Sarpong pledged the Management's preparedness to work closely with all its social partners to help to bring peace, harmony and tranquillity to the Refinery.
Dr Sarpong expressed the hope that the package would be endorsed by the Board so as to boost the morale of workers to keep the Refinery going.
Mr Godfred Odoom, Chairman of the Senior Staff Association, said the workers were most grateful to the Minister for his intervention and getting the Management to address most of their grievances. Mr Kofi Debrah-Owusu, Chairman of the Junior Staff Association, said he was optimistic that the decisions would be quickly implemented and pledged that employees left behind would work hard to cover lost time.
Last week, TOR, the source of the nation's petroleum products, lost 14 of its technical staff. They resigned from the Company and to go and work in refineries in Oman and Qatar in the Middle East because of attractive salaries and conditions of service.