It may sound ridiculous, but reliable sources have revealed that 60 workers have been laid off by the Karpowership Ghana Limited over language barriers. Read on…
About 60 workers of Karpowership Ghana Limited have been dismissed. They include 10 engineers and over 50 staff of two firms contracted to work on the ship. The companies are Eye-Con, an engineering firm which undertakes maintenance services on the ship and Blagodolph, a cleaning agency.
According to Daily Guide reports, the contracts of the 10 Ghanaian engineers, who worked with the companies before the arrival of the Karpowership in November last year, were said to have been cancelled this month.
A letter written to some of the staff and signed by the Karpowership Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Orhan Remzi Kardeniz said; “We regret to inform you of management’s decision to terminate the fixed term contract of employment between yourself and Karpowership Ghana Company Limited with effect from 7th April.”
An official of Karpowership also revealed that a formal statement on the matter would be issued soon.
According to sources, the workers were sacked due to language challenges which made it difficult for the Turkish supervisors to work effectively with the Ghanaian employees on the ship.
The dismissal of the Ghanaian workers is expected to pave the way for the company to employ expatriates from Turkey, especially as a new country manager from Turkey, Erkut Ates, has already taken over from American Robert Kremer. It was during Robert Kremer’s tenure the barge came to Ghana.
The Karpowership was contracted by government from Turkey as a medium term measure to mitigate the effects of the power crisis. The power barge, which has an installed capacity of 235 mw, has been generating electricity in Ghana since December 18, 2015.
One of the aggrieved workers, a dismissed engineer revealed that on “On the 4th April their HR met them and telling them that by the end of April, almost half of the Ghanaians would be out of the company. He said that the HR said that the reason for the lay-off is because the new management is saying that there are too many people on the barge.However, the engineer said he and his colleagues knew that he was just trying to get rid of the Ghanaians on board.
Lamenting over their predicament, the dismissed engineer complained that the basis for their dismissal was not made clear to them. He wondered why their contract should be abruptly terminated for no just cause. For him, such actions should be clearly based on performance.
He accused the management of the company of employing expatriates from Turkey, saying “what baffles us the most is that as Ghanaians are being sacked from the barge, they are bringing in their Turkish nationals and to me it is very bad.”
However, the workers perceived before now that the senior engineering team members, who were Turkish, were finding it difficult to communicate with them. Although their employers do not want to make this clear, the dismissed Ghanaian workers strongly suspect that this is the major reason behind their dismissal. The challenge was such that they had to use sign language on many occasions to communicate with them.
Explaining their plight further, one of the dismissed Ghanaian workers said, “But when they speak and you don’t get them, they are pissed off. They try to throw off their hands at you. To the extent that one of them threw an object at a Ghanaian one time.”
Some of the workers have also accused the company of not giving them adequate training to enable them work appropriately, accusing senior officials of the Turkish company of discrimination.