Friday, 23 February

Torentco-TOR deal: Board says GTPCWU's allegations 'callous, baseless, insulting'

Oil refinery plant

The Board of the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR) has expressed disappointment with the General Transport, Petroleum, and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana concerning their allegations concerning the proposed lease transaction between Torentco Asset Management Limited and TOR.

The union petitioned the office of the special prosecutor in a letter dated Monday, 20 November 2023, to probe the deal.

The union pleaded: “We wish to request that your highly esteemed office investigate and intervene in the ongoing lease arrangement of Tema Oil Refinery to Torentco Asset Management Limited, now Tema Energy and Processing Limited, with the same individuals involved.”

It noted that “the actions of the individuals behind Tema Energy and Processing Limited seek to induce workers of TOR with 20% of its shares through misrepresentation of workers in an entity by the name 'TOR Workers Charity Trust' that never existed nor heard of at TOR, apart from the five individual directors and direct beneficiaries of this trust.”

“We are tempted to believe the BoDs have been compromised to shortchange the country, Ghana. Otherwise, why will the BoDs be adamant in the face of all these red flags? Even when entities such as Falcon American Oil and Legacy Capital have also approached the management of TOR with very lucrative and compelling proposals, the BoD and Management have been resolute in ensuring that regardless of all the red flags, they will lease TOR to Torentco/TEPL for six (6) years.”

In a rebuttal, however, the TOR Board said in a statement dated Sunday, 26 November 2023, that it is "saddened and disappointed by the precipitous action taken by the leaders of the GTPCWU both nationally and at TOR who have taken it upon themselves to jump to baseless and, frankly, insulting conclusions without engaging management or the Board to ascertain the facts.”

“It is unclear what has motivated such behaviour by the leaders of GTPCWU, but the board and management will conduct an internal process to understand and deal with this. They continue to express concerns about the impact of the lease on the rights of the workers, but even this has not been articulated.”

According to the board, the majority of TOR workers are in favour of the deal but for a few others whose "callous allegations are complete without merit and thoroughly refuted by the board.”