COCOBOD workers mount pressure to get CEO dismissed

Over hundred workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board [COCOBOD] besieged the premises of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations Thursday to mount pressure on the government to dismiss their Chief Executive, Dr Stephen Opuni.

The workers, who belong to the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and the Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU), came from the Eastern, Western and the Greater Accra regions,TV3’s Selorm Amenya reported.

In a petition submitted to the Deputy Minister, the workers listed a number of allegations against Dr Opuni, claiming he has no regard for authority, including President John Mahama.

They claim the Chief Executive of COCOBOD has on three occasions refused an invitation by the Employment Minister, which were at the instance of President Mahama.

They claim nothing has been done to Dr Opuni for disregarding the invitation, which were to discuss the current issues at the COCOBOD, which has caused some of the workers to break away from the ICU and GAWU.

“Does that mean that Dr Stephen Opuni, the Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board is not subject to any authority in the country, not even the Presidency?,” the workers asked in the petition.

They further claim their CEO have failed to negotiate their wage for the year 2016, rather he imposed a 20 per cent salary increment as wage reopener.

The workers alleged that their colleagues and union leaders who refused to join a Dr Opuni-sponsored in-house union “are being transferred indiscriminately”.

“A Whistle-blower has petitioned the Attorney General’s Department and CHRAH to conduct investigation into some dubious deals at COCOBOD which are causing huge financialloss to Ghana but this has not been heeded to,” he said.

According to the workers, despite the numerous allegations of malfeasance against Dr Opuni, he still continue to be in office, adding that until the President dismiss him, the cocoa industry will hit its lowest ebb by the time he leaves office.

By Stephen Kwabena Effah||Ghana

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