Hundreds of workers are resigning from the Cocoa Processing Company (CPC) in Tema over the mismanagement of the facility by the current administration.
The development comes barely three months after the company stated that it is hopeful of meeting its 2016 target of processing about 3000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans after shutting down for maintenance works in January this year.
Citi Business News’ sources at the company indicate that most of the workers with their experience in the cocoa processing industry, are seeking greener pastures in other cocoa processing companies in Tema.
Some concerned workers who spoke to Citi Business News on condition of anonymity noted that the once viable company is operating at a loss; reasons for which salaries on several occasions have delayed without any explanation.
According to the concerned workers, the appalling administration has given room for the mass resignations.
They also intimated that the staff strength of the company has declined by over fifty percent as the number of workers has declined from an estimated 700 to about 200.
“Before our crisis we had a staff strength of about 700, but as we speak, we have around 200 members of staff and even that, the company is unable to pay salaries,” one worker told Citi Business News.
The concerned workers further alleged that some individuals are deliberately working against the survival of the company to serve the bid of some players in the industry.
They therefore maintained that for the CPC to be viable and profitable, government would have to merge it with the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) since it has the financial strength to manage the facility and turn its fortunes around.
According to them, the facility which has the capacity to process about 50,000 plus tonnes of cocoa beans annually is now doing only 300 tonnes which is woefully inadequate .
“As we speak we do not have cocoa beans to process but instead we are working for some cocoa processing companies in Tema. Our machines are just being underutilized,” another worker remarked.
He further alleged that Managing Director is still at post and being paid even though has been on retirement since March 1, 2016.
The workers have also accused the Deputy MD in charge of operations, Frank Asante, as being part of key management members creating problems within the factory and have therefore called for his removal.
CPC shuts down plants for maintenance
Attempts by the management of the company to shut down two plants at the factory early this year for maintenance, was viewed by some as a calculated effort to shroud the under-performance of the company.
The workers of the affected units were subsequently recalled despite speculations of a possible lay off.
The Public Relations Officer and Human Resource Manager of the CPC, Ekow Rhule at the time told Citi Business News the maintenance should rather enable the company meet its production target for the year.
Company could bounce back
The concerned workers are however optimistic of the economic benefits to the country if an efficient management system is put in place.
This they said was evident at a time when the company was recording huge profits which resulted in the construction of a second factory as part of expansion works.
Though the company Citi Business News understands spends about GH¢600,000 each on electricity and water every month, it is however able to meet that cost from processing the finished products from their competitors in Tema.
A situation the workers believe could be improved if the company is given the necessary support to turn around its fortunes.
Meanwhile Citi Business News has contacted the management of the company and it is yet to comment on the matter.
By: Elvis Washington/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana