The General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU) and the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) have expressed their displeasure over what they say are unwarranted remarks by the Board Chair of the Ghana COCOBOD.
The labour unions say the development is inimical to the operations of the cocoa sector as it could block future investments.
Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman is accused of raising concerns on workers’ salary among other industry issues in the media.
The labour unions are also unhappy over their inability to meet to discuss issues with the Board Chair.
Addressing a press conference on Wednesday [December 19, 2018] the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, Solomon Kotei argued that the sacrifices made by their colleagues should rather be commended.
“The sacrifices of the cocoa sector are unparalled; the workers in the cocoa sector are the only single labour union that once in the crisis of COCOBOD in the early 80s, the workers’ salary were reduced by twenty-five percent; a recovery that we are yet to overcome and we are still working in the interest of the country,” he said.
Commenting on the allegations that cocoa workers have been granted salary increases at the expense of farmers at the farm gate, Mr. Kotei disagreed with the Board Chair.
He rather explained that the ten percent increase in salary given to workers spanned three years which translated into an annual increase of 3.3 percent.
Moreover, the General Agricultural Workers’ Union is raising concern on the implications of the issues internationally.
According to the General Secretary of GAWU, “the cocoa sector is a sensitive one and is being closely watched and monitored by the industry players and financiers worldwide, so any wrong signals emanating from the Government, COCOBOD officials or workers, could have serious repercussion on the industry.”
Meanwhile the unions are taking their concerns a notch higher to get the President to intervene, “The press conference is ending by sending a petition to President Akufo Addo on the conduct of the Chairman of the COCOBOD Board,” Mr. Solomon Kotei indicated.
The Chairman of COCOBOD, Mr. Hackman Owusu Agyeman is yet to comment on the matter.
By: Pius Amihere Eduku/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana