MMTL workers hold Deputy MD hostage

mmtlStaff of Metro Mass Transit Limited (MMTL), the state-owned transport firm, yesterday, stormed the office of their Deputy Managing Director, John Awuku Duazah, attempting to force him out.

But Mr. Duazah locked himself in the office until the police arrived to whisk him away.

The workers, who are demanding his immediate interdiction by the board, to pave way for ongoing investigations into the alleged disappearance of 12 buses belonging to the company.

Yesterday’s action followed a nationwide strike by the workers on Monday, demanding the removal of Mr. Duazah and the Board Chairman, who they accused of complicity in the disappearance of the buses.

A couple of hours after his arrival for work yesterday morning, the agitated workers, chanting war songs at the company’s head office at Kaneshie in Accra, besieged his office, compelling him to lock himself up in the office.

The tyres of his official Land cruiser with registration number GT 8192 S, were deflated to prevent his from moving the vehicle.

It was the intervention of a police team which whisked him away that saved the situation.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times at the premises after the Deputy MD had been taken away by the police, Joseph Kwesi Ahenkorah, Divisional Union Chairman of the Junior Staff of MMTL, said the workers were angered by Mr. Duazah’s presence at the premises, while he was under investigation.

He said by that, the Deputy MD demonstrated clear disregard to the demands of the workers, adding that the company’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, (CBA), states that any worker “implicated” in any case should be interdicted.

Mr. Ahenkorah said the very code of interdiction, was applied to many staff of the company for various offenses.

“So far, as you work with the MMTL, every agreed code of ethics is binding on you regardless of the position you hold, and against this backdrop, the Deputy MD must not be exempted”.

“We don’t understand why a section of the staff must be interdicted according to the provision of the CBA while, they should be different with management,” he said adding “what is good for the goose must be good for the gander.”

Mr. Ahenkorah noted that although the Transport Minister, Mrs. Dzifa Ativor, intervened on Monday, assuring them of unravelling the misery surrounding the missing buses, the staff were of the believe that management had failed to meet their demand for the interdiction of the Deputy MD, as stated in their petition which was presented on Monday.

However, Bernice Akologo, the Company’s Communications Officer, told The Ghanaian Times indicated that the CBA provision on the interdiction of a staff, was not applicable to management.

According to her, it was only the Board that could take decisions on management regarding indiscipline, non-compliance of directives and corrupt practices.

She added that the issue, regarding the missing buses, had been reported to the board, and a meeting was to be convened to finding a last solution to the problem.

At the time of leaving the premises, all the personnel had returned to work.

By Edem Mensah-Tsotorme

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