Business

TOR workers fear refinery shut down

Workers of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) say they fear they would be laid off as the plant has been idle for about seven months due to the unavailability of crude oil.

They indicated that even though the refinery had undergone routine maintenance, workers were still waiting for the government to provide it with crude oil to refine.

Union leaders of the refinery made this known during a general meeting of the Tema District Council of Labour.

They indicated that, according to their management, the about 800 workers of TOR were being paid with overdraft, a situation they feared would end-up in their layoff just as it happened in the banking sector.

According to them, the Social Security and National Insurance (SSNIT) contributions of workers had not been paid for months.

They questioned the assertion of successive governments that TOR was making losses and, therefore, it must be shut down, while ironically, politicians were day in, day out, employing more workers at the refinery on protocol basis.

They said it was not true that TOR was making losses, arguing that it was in the interest of the politicians to ensure that the tanks at the refinery were empty so as to store fuel from the Bulk Distribution Companies (BDCs) which allegedly belonged to them or people who financially supported their political campaigns.

They expressed their unhappiness about the way the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL were handling the TOR issue and accused them of ‘being in bed with the politicians”.

They charged the TUC to bring the TOR issue to the public domain and educate citizens on the effect of allowing politicians to run down TOR operations for their parochial interest.

Mr Emmanuel Addo-Kumi, TDCL Secretary, responding to the concerns of the union leaders, denied conspiring with government saying that a draft on the issue had been presented to the Finance Minister for consideration and the needed actions taken.

He said the issue was volatile hence the TDCL’s hesitation to go public, but gave the assurance that it was being handled by the TUC and the Council.

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