The Board Chairman of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Hackman Owusu-Agyeman, has rubbished calls by some workers of the company for his removal, saying they are borne out of a desire to fight his transformational agenda for the organization.
About 60 workers of COCOBOD in Kumasi during the May Day celebration, called for the immediate removal of Mr. Owusu-Agyemang.
The workers accused him of usurping the authority of the Chief Executive of the company and denying the workers what is due them.
The angry workers, held placards at the May Day event at the Baba Yara Sports stadium in Kumasi on Tuesday, with various inscriptions to convey their demands.
Responding to these calls, Mr. Owusu-Agyemang said the workers were calling for his removal due to some reforms he had introduced since he took over the helm of affairs.
“We are trying to ask them to be more efficient, but because they have been spoiled over the years, these COCOBOD officers believe that the world belongs to them. I believe sincerely that the farmers who toil and sweat are the ones who should enjoy the benefits.”
“The latest issue before I left was the fact that they asked me to sign 160 million cedis for them from their so-called ESB, and I did not have any clue about that. They did not give me any background. It was not anything that could be done without having recourse to inform opinion and especially from the lawyers.”
The workers had complained that their salary had not seen any increment in three years, along with the fact that the monthly deductions made for retirement benefits are not accruing any interests.
“According to them, their management had agreed to release the ESB, but had not received approval from Mr. Owusu-Agyemang.
They therefore told the government to expect an escalation in their protests if their demands are not met.
“If that money is not released as soon as possible, then the government will see us spitting red. We’ve exhausted all the protocol. As we speak, management has agreed that they are going to pay the money, but they are waiting for the approval from the board chairman, and he is refusing to pay… Every good thing that is coming to staff, he says no, we have been pampered for so long and we want to tell him that we deserve whatever we are taking and therefore, our due must be given to us.”