TOR sacks 200 of its workers

Tema Oil Refinery

Information reaching indicates that the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has begun a lay-off exercise involving hundreds of workers.

TOR is embarking on retrenchment exercise with the casual staff being the main target.

According to sources, about 200 have been sent home already as of Tuesday 10 July 2018, with more expected to follow.

Though official reason is yet to be given for the move, the action is coming barely a month after the TOR management was compelled to shut down, both the primary plant, 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.

The refinery since January 2017 has been unable to raise letters of credit to import crude for processing which is its core mandate. Earlier, energy think tank, the Institute of Energy Security (IES) had warned that several jobs could be on the line if TOR doesn’t receive urgent support from government to enable it raise letters of credit.

Some of the affected workers have worked with TOR for about 5 years.

Chairman of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical workers Union at TOR, Elton John Botwe confirmed the lay-off 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.