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Ghana: MODEC fires local workers striking over expat pay discrepancy

Japanese company, Mitsui Ocean Development and Engineering Company, has fired all of the local Ghanain workers at its Jubilee Oil Field operation. The local workers were aggrieved by the alleged difference in wages between themselves and expatriate workers, whom they claimed earned up to three times, in some cases despite having the same responsibilities.

We invited MODEC to respond to these allegations, but the company did not respond.

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Company non-response
26 November 2014

MODEC did not respond

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Co. to respond to the article below.  It did not respond.

Article
21 November 2014

Hays study finds 379.5 per cent disparity between pay of Ghanaian oil workers and expatriats

Author: GhanaWeb

'Ghanaian oil workers 400 percent worst off', 21 Nov 2014: Ghanaian local oil workers were the least paid in the world only second to their Sudanese counterparts...according to...research conducted by Hays, the global oil and gas recruitment experts...Hays...says a 379.5 per cent disparity pertained in Ghana...[which] had the highest salary disparity in the world...[which] often triggered...conflict between employers and employees...Last month...about 40...employees of the Mitsui Ocean Development and Engineering Company Limited...[went on] strike...to protest poor conditions under which they work...20 of them were sacked by MODEC...for refusing to sign an undertaking note...[T]he company has...threatened to sack more if they continue with the strike action which...[it] described as illegal claiming they were not given prior notice...The grievance of the striking workers has been that they receive...an average of US$780 to US$940 a month while their expatriate counterparts took an average of about US$5000 to US$10,000 - an average salary difference of about 750 per cent...

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Article
12 November 2014

Ghana: Petroleum Commission surprised by dismissal of MODEC workers

Author: Godwin Allotey Akweiteh, Citifmonline (Ghana)

'Petroleum Commission surprised by dismissal of FPSO workers', 12 Nov 2014: The Petroleum Commission of Ghana says it is surprised that MODEC [Mitsui Ocean Development and Engineering Company], one of the private companies working at Ghana’s Jubilee oil field had sacked it’s local workers, despite frantic efforts to settle their differences amicably. The Ghanaian workers laid down their tools on October 29, in protest against pay disparities between expatriates and locals...[M]anagement of MODEC...dismissed the Ghanaian workers despite having agreed on a roadmap to solve the crisis...Reports indicate that MODEC took the decision after the workers refused to sign a bond of good behavior...Francis Sallah, Deputy General Secretary for the General Transport Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union...said...“This...is unfair...These guys are not children...they...[are] graduates,”...He...called for the workers to be reinstated immediately before they will avail themselves for further negotiations...[T]he remaining 12 Ghanaian workers at MODEC have...withdrawn their services in solidarity with their colleagues who have been sacked...

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Article
11 November 2014

Japanese company, MODEC, fires striking Ghanaian workers

Author: GhanaWeb

'MODEC sacks striking Ghanaian FPSO workers', 11 Nov 2014:...MODEC, a...company working at Ghana’s...Jubilee oil field, has sacked all of the local workers who embarked on a strike...The local workers...[were] protest[ing] what they say is poor working conditions and remunerations. They claim MODEC pays expatriate workers better than the Ghanaian workers, whose salaries don’t even match industry standards...MODEC...described the strike as illegal claiming they were not given prior notice...Chairman of the Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union, Eric Ofori...said that about “98% of the Ghanaian workers have been issued with dismissal letters with immediate effect.”...According to...workers, they receive an average of Ghc2,500 (US$775) to Ghc3, 000 (US$931) a month while their expatriate counterparts take an average of about 5,000 to 10,000 dollars...“I see it as an insult...[that] they pay peanuts to qualified Ghanaians and...huge sums...to those who are not more qualified than us...Ghanaians [are] stand[ing] up for their right of equality...” he [said]...

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