Business News of 2014-01-12

Striking cocoa carriers resume work but...

The striking cocoa head-carriers at the Cocoa Marketing Company (CMC) Commodity Village at Apowa have agreed to resume work on Monday, January, 13, 2014 after reaching an agreement with their employers and COCOBOD.

However, the head-carriers gave a month’s ultimatum to COCOBOD and labour companies to fulfill all conditions reached under the agreement or they would lay down their tools again.

According to the carriers, the labour companies in the presence of COCOBOD have agreed to pay them a daily wage of Gh¢35.00, register them for social security contributions and health insurance as well provide them safety wares and First Aid kits.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic after the two-day crunch meeting at the premises of COCOBOD at Kadjebiri, one of the leaders of the carriers, Nana Kwabena Ackon Ansah said both sides have reached an amicable conclusion.

Among conditions to be improved is the provision of potable water for the carriers and transportation to convey workers to and from Takoradi and other destinations.

He said before the carriers went on holidays and broke off into the ‘strike’, they were paid Ghc18.00 which was later increased to Ghc20.00. “We were not provided with the things that were agreed upon now, not even drinking water.”

The impasse between the cocoa carriers and their employers at Apowa commodity which started before the Christmas holidays, has resulted in the grounding of over 1,500 trucks loaded with cocoa.

The trucks, which arrived from the hinterland last December, still have their loads unpacked, making it difficult for drivers to return to the bush to evacuate more of the produce.

At the commodity village, the drivers welcomed the resumption of work by the carriers but said it had been of a great cost to them and their employers.