Business News of 2014-03-10

Schlumberger Oil workers go wild

Angry workers of Schlumberger, an oil service provider located at Apremdo near Takoradi in the Western Region, staged a massive demonstration at the premises of the company on Friday over what they described as discrimination against Ghanaian workers by the expatriates.
The Ghanaian workers maintained that they were lowly paid, making their foreign counterparts look down on them and see them as being ‘cheap.’
When DAILY GUIDE visited the premises of the company over the weekend, scores of the workers insisted that they would not allow any of the expatriate workers to enter the place.
“We will not allow any foreigner cheat us this way; we will continue to be here, sleep here to ensure that no expatriate sets foot here”, one of the workers angrily stressed.
Chrispline Awuah Baffuor, Secretary to the Local Union, indicated that there had been no significant salary increment for the local workers since 2010.
According to him, every expatriate worker receives a daily meal allowance of GH¢60.00 adding, “meanwhile, the net basic salary of a graduate Ghanaian with over three years’ experience in the company, is less than GH¢1,800 per month.”
“Some local unionized employees are being paid a housing allowance of GH¢29 per month before tax, while expatriate workers receive about $600.00 per month”, he added.
He alleged that the global bonus scheme for offshore workers was being enjoyed by the expatriate workers only.
He stressed that even though Schlumberger claimed to be the first in the oil field services business, its remuneration was less than other oil companies in Ghana.
Mr. Charles Acheampong, Chairman of the Union, mentioned that management expected the Ghanaian employees to work outside working hours with no pay, but had refused to meet the demands of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“Our Labour Act, which speaks of equal work, equal pay, never existed between locals and expatriate workers in this company”, he stressed.
He continued, “Management of the company has refused to implement Labour Laws on overtime and general local practices of Ghana. It has also threatened to place not less than 20 employees on redundancy because the local union insisted on discussions on wages and allowances”.
The local union chairman had therefore called on the leadership of the National Union to intervene to resolve their concerns otherwise the oil service provider would face their wrath.