ICU, GAWU demand removal of COCOBOD Board Chairman

Mr Solomon Kotei (middle),addressing the press conference. He is flanked by the leadership of ICU and GAWU (4)

Mr Solomon Kotei (middle),addressing the press conference. He is flanked by the leadership of ICU and GAWU (4)

The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) and General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), have demanded the immediate removal of the Board Chairman of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Mr Hackman Owusu Agyemang.

At a joint press conference in Accra on Wednesday, the two powerful unions of the Ghana Trade Unions Congress (GTUC) stated among several reasons that Mr Agyemang has publicly denigrated workers of COCOBOD.

Flanked by Mr Edward Kareweh, General Secretary of GAWU, the General Secretary of ICU, Mr Solomon Kotei, who addressed journalists said Mr. Agyemang’s relationship with COCOBOD workers was at its lowest ebb.

He therefore called President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to remove COCOBOD Board Chairman for industrial harmony to prevail.

Mr Solomon Kotei stated further that since the assumption of office of Mr Agyemang about two years he had been on a collision course with workers which was affecting the productivity.

“Without any tangible reason whatsoever, or verification of his supposed facts, he (Mr Agyemang) had gone public on five occasions, in his short period as Board Chairman, allegedly that the workers of COCOBOD are the best paid workers in Ghana and that they are pampered and they received 27 different allowances among other benefits.”

He alleged that Mr. Agyemang was also directly interfering with the payment of workers’ allowances and bonuses.

According to Mr. Kotei said Mr. Agyemang has also “stated publicly that cocoa farmers at the farm gates have not received any increase in the cocoa price but the cocoa workers have received 10 per cent increase in their salaries and were still complaining, without explaining that the 10 per cent increment covered a period of three years which worked 3.3 per cent per a year,” he added.

He said matters regarding workers’ salaries, allowances and benefits which are confidential have been indiscreetly flaunted at the public domain by the chairman.

He said matters regarding workers’ salaries, allowances and benefits which are confidential have been indiscreetly flaunted at the public domain by the Chairman.

He said it was unfortunate, and unacceptable for the Chairman of the Board of Directors of COCOBOD to go public to castigate workers using falsehood that they were being pampered and they do not deserve what they work for.

‘’The ICU Ghana and GAWU believed that if the Board Chairman has any concerns against workers of the COCOBOD,he should use the right channels, procedures and processes to address them,” he said.

Mr Kotei said the cocoa industry, the backbone of the Ghanaian economy, was being closely watched and monitored by the industry players and financiers worldwide, explaining that any wrong signal from government, COCOBOD officials or workers could have serious repercussion for the industry.

Mr Kotei stated that a petition on the matter would be presented to the President on the behaviour of Mr Agyemang.

By Anita Nyarko-Yirenkyi

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