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TOR Board interdicts Union Executives for exposing dirty Torentco deal

The botched deal between the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) and Torentco, has led to two executives of the General Transport Petroleum Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) being interdicted.

The action which was taken by the TOR Board of Directors takes immediate effect.

Two executives were interdicted by the TOR Board of Directors for disclosing classified information regarding the controversial deal during a press conference.

The seven-member board includes the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwesimintsim Constituency, Dr Prince Hamid Armah, and former National Nasara Coordinator of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Kamal Deen Abdulai.

Others are Albert Ahenkan, an Associate Professor in the Department of Public Administration at the University of Ghana Business School, Nana Akua Bakoma Prempeh and Irene Osei Bonsu.

One of the interdicted persons, Anthony Joojo Koomson, who is the Chairman of the Petroleum Union Senior Staff Association confirmed this on Adom FM’s morning show, Dwaso Nsem on Monday.

Mr Koomson said they have been interdicted for disclosing vital information on the TOR-Torentco deal at a press conference.

The Board argued that they breached the non-disclosure agreement they undertook not to disclose the details of the draft TOR /Torentco Lease and O&M agreements, citing Article 43(4) (vii) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between TOR and GTPCWU.

But Mr Koomson contends that the board acted in bad faith because his action was in accordance with the Whistleblower Act.

“We alerted management about the shortfalls in the deal and they told us they can’t respond to the issues because the board is solely in charge. We wrote to the board and till date, they haven’t responded to us so we just had to do the needful by making the issue public,” he stated.

Mr Koomson warned the Board should not for any reason think the interdiction will gag him.

“This is the biggest mistake by the Board because it will not end her. The mandate of the board is not to micro-manage management. It is management who is to take disciplinary action but this clearly shows the incompetence of the board and the fact that they do not understand their job,” he lashed out.

Meanwhile, GTPCWU has threatened industrial action over the interdiction and the deal promising to ensure that its interdicted executives are reinstated as soon as possible.

The union has been on the case of the Board of Directors of TOR, calling for their removal from office following the Torentco deal.

According to the board, the interdicted union executives breached the non-disclosure agreement regarding the draft TOR/Torentco Lease and O&M agreements, citing Article 43(4) (vii) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between TOR and GTPCWU.

The Chairman of GTPCWU, Bernard Owusu, has insisted that the union executives have not committed any offence to warrant their interdiction.

He described the action of the board as the ‘show of power’, adding that the manual by the Board of Directors is new to them.

“The Chairperson for the Junior Staff at TOR and the Chairman for the Senior Staff have been interdicted as employees of TOR for speaking to the media and talking about the Torentco deal. In the history of TOR, this is the first time that we have heard of this so-called manual of not speaking to the media or going to the media. This is sheer power; the board of directors wants to show they are the people in charge and are untouchable. The board claims they have shared confidential information, and by so doing, they have interdicted them. They have not done anything wrong; these are innocent workers who are doing their jobs as leaders of TOR. It means if you are doing something fraudulent, nobody should talk about it.”

He added, “The mother union is writing to management to revert the decision unconditionally; we are consulting our structures, and tomorrow we are having a management committee meeting. The workers of the refinery will not allow this to go to sleep without using lawful means to bring members back.”

The Chairman of GTPCWU said they will resist attempts by the Board of Directors of TOR to vent their anger on workers.

“Let me caution the board of TOR once again, we are saying that they are incompetent; they cannot do the job President Akufo-Addo’s government has given them. They have failed woefully. They rather want to vent their frustration on members; we will not allow that to survive,” he stated.

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