Business News of 2013-12-19

Organised labour unfazed by Fortiz ruling

Organized Labour says it remains resolute in its fight against the sale of Merchant Bank to equity firm, Fortiz, despite a court ruling dismissing Andrews Awuni-the plaintiff challenging the sale.

The Commercial Court in Accra on Wednesday upheld a motion filed by Lawyer for Fortiz that the plaintiff had no capacity to sue.

While the ruling may be a set back to the plaintiff and his lawyers, organized labour maintains they are unmoved by the ruling.

Dr. Justice Yankson, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association told Joy News' Evans Mensah that the ruling does not in any way negate the position taken by labour.

Prior to the ruling, six labour unions jointly held a press conference last week during which they demanded, among other things, the immediate suspension of the sale of Merchant Bank to Fortiz.

They argued that workers, who own majority shares in Merchant Bank, thanks to the investment by the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNT)- are entitled to be appropriately briefed on the sale.

Dr. Yankson said once the ruling did not go into the details of the transaction, they still have every right to protest the sale and stand by their earlier position.

"The real issues put out by the plaintiff were not tackled. The issues as to whether or not the transaction itself was right or not were not tackled," he stated.

In view of that the GMA deputy General Secretary said labour still wants the deal suspended.

With four of its (TUC) members on the Board of Merchant Bank, Dr. Yankson said the Merbank-Fortiz deal cannot be said to be complete.

He said they still want full disclosure on the source of funding of Fortiz and who the actual owners are.

Dr. Yankson said organized labour will soon reconvene to take a decision on the next line of action to take, especially in the wake of the court ruling.