Business News of 2014-01-08

Truck drivers, cocoa couriers demonstrate against CMC

More than 500 haulage truck drivers and cocoa couriers on Tuesday demonstrated against Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) over low loading fees and delay in offloading their goods.
They burnt car tyres and barricaded the entrance to the CMC warehousing facility at Beahu in the Ahanta West District of the Western Region for over five hours amidst chanting of war songs.
Mr Kofi Asare, a truck driver, told the GNA at the CMC Commodity Village at Beahu that he had spent three months at the place but his cargo had not being offloaded.
Mr Asare complained that CMC paid 15 pesewas per bag to couriers who offload cocoa beans into the warehouse, saying this amount was woefully inadequate.
He said, the couriers demanded an increase from 15 pesewas to 50 pesewas per bag offloaded but the officials of CMC rejected their request and rather brought some couriers from Tema to do the work.
This according to him, resulted in confrontation between the couriers from Tema and Beahu, thereby, halting the offloading of the cocoa beans from the trucks.
Wahab Mahama, a truck driver, also alleged that an official of the CMC locked the borehole at the facility from which the drivers fetch water for bathing and cooking thereby igniting the cause of demonstration on Tuesday.
He alleged that some officials of the Quality Control Division of the company that inspect the cocoa beans demanded between GHc200 and GHc300 before giving approval for offloading.
It took the timely intervention of police personnel from the Kwesimintsim District Command to calm tempers and removed the barricade from the entrance of the warehouse facility.
The Kwesimintsim District Police Commander, Chief Superintendent Issah Yakubu, told the GNA that his outfit would convey an emergency meeting with all the stakeholders on Friday January 10 to resolve the concerns raised by the drivers and cocoa couriers.
He advised the demonstrators to exercise restraint in order not to have a brush with the law.
All the efforts by the GNA to get to the officials of CMC proved futile, since there was no official there to respond to the concerns raised by the demonstrators.