The state-owned Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has sacked over 200 workers, as part of a retrenchment exercise, and there are reports that many more are to go home.
Though no official reason has yet been given for the dismissals, the action is coming barely a month after the management of TOR was compelled to shut down the Crude Distillation Unit and the Residue Catalytic Cracker (RCC) due to the non-availability of crude oil to feed the refinery.
It is also coming at a time discussions are rife about turning TOR into a tank farm. There are also discussions that the facility will be sold off by the Akufo-Addo government.
The refinery, since January 2017, has been unable to raise letters of credit to import crude for processing.
Earlier, energy think tank, Institute of Energy Security (IES), had warned that several jobs could be on the line if TOR did not receive urgent support from government to enable it raise the letters of credit.
Some of the affected staff, according to Accra-based Class FM source, have worked with TOR for about five years.
Chairman of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical workers Union at TOR, Elton John Botwe confirmed the layoffs to Class FM.
“…When people are told to go home, when they are part of the union, fine [something can be done about it] but this is the case they are not part of the union, they are contractual workers,” he said.
He explained that some of the casual workers sometimes have their contracts renewed and could be working for years, however, it is not a continuous process.
“Some come, let’s say from January to March in a year and might go and come again, let’s say in December, so, when he is talking he will say I have been with TOR for about four years but it is not a continuous flow,” he added.