Nineteen sacked Ghanaian workers of Modec who work on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah are heading to court over their dismissal.
The move follows their replacement by new workers. Modec and the workers were directed to go into compulsory arbitration by the National Labour Commission (NLC) in July this year after talks between them over the dismissal broke down.
MODEC refused to reinstate the workers despite an MOU signed between them and the union in November 2014 to reinstate 15 of the 19 sacked workers.
The move pushed the NLC to announce in July that it cannot force MODEC to reinstate the workers but directed it to begin negotiations with the workers on a suitable severance package.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Deputy General Secretary of the General Transport and Chemical Workers Union, Francis Sallah, accused the panel for the compulsory arbitration of being biased towards the workers.
“The guys had a lawyer who at the arbitration process sought to request the panel to explain redundancy meant because to our best understanding the issue there is not redundancy because the job which these guys were doing still exist and then also it is also clear that they have recruited some other people who are now working. We therefore protested against the order from the commission to negotiate their severance package but the commission turned it down and so we had to walk out of the commission.”
The commission based on the submission of the employer gave an award which we think at this stage is not right.
As we speak, the lawyers for the affected workers are proceeding to court over the issue to seek proper interpretation of the issue, Deputy General Secretary of the General Transport and Chemical Workers Union, Francis Sallah said.
19 Ghanaian workers on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah were sacked by Modec in 2014 for embarking on a sit-down strike over poor conditions of service as compared to their expatriate colleagues on the storage vessel.