Massive layoffs hit Ghana’s oil & gas industry
The General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union (GTPCWU) has warned that hundreds of its members are set to lose their jobs in the coming weeks due to the drop in world oil prices.
According to the union, some 300 workers have already been laid off as others are expected to follow.
Speaking to Citi Business News, the Deputy General Secretary of the union Francis Sallah, blamed some of the layoffs on the current power challenges in the country. “Off my head from all the organizations so far we lost more than 300 Ghanaian workers and still counting because as we speak now there are a number of them on our table now,” he said.
He disclosed that the employers are asking a further cut down on the numbers. “And in this country when one worker loses his or her job that affects about six people in the family and so if we are losing over 300 then multiply that by six and you will see the number of people who will be affected with the layoffs,” he lamented. Mr. Sallah stated that the sector is undergoing challenges as most companies complain about the drop in oil prices on the world market.
“But what is interesting is that the layoff is affecting the Ghanaian staff than their expatriate counterparts,” he said. He pointed out that the main contractor in the petroleum upstream sector (Tullow)has in some cases demanded that the expatriate staff be retained as Ghanaian workers are sent home.
According to oilprice.com some 6,300 people in oil and gas and supporting services were handed their layoff letters in April 2016. Tullow Ghana confirmed layoffs in 2015 Tullow oil Ghana last year confirmed that it was in consultations with some of its employees who were likely to be laid off.
According to the company, the move is as a result of challenges in the oil and gas industry which have taken a heavy toll on crude oil prices. The continuous fall in crude oil prices on the world market has also affected government’s finances.