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General News Tue, 29 Apr 1997

Mobil Workers Give Ultimatum To General Manager

Accra A sit-down strike by workers of Mobil Oil Ghana Limited entered its second day today with a warning that they would advise themselves if their demands were not met by the end of the day. The demands include a freeze on moves to sell Mobil House in Accra and the immediate re-call of Mr Michael George Riding, General Manager,

Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Mr Ambrose Yennah, chairman of the Staff Association of Mobil Oil Ghana Limited, described Mobil House as the symbol of the toils, sweat and sacrifice of workers and a pride of share-holders. He explained that since 40 per cent of total holdings is held by workers and the public Mobil House, which is an asset of the company, cannot be sold without the prior knowledge of share-holders.

Mr Yennah said there is no justification in the proposal to sell Mobil House because it serves as offices for the company. Rooms which are not used by Mobil staff are rented out in foreign currency and this takes care of maintenance cost. It also serves as collateral, he said, adding that the fact that dividends have shot up by about 100 per cent over the past two years means that the company is not running at a loss to necessitate the sale of its fixed assets.

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Mr Yennah said the 5.4 billion cedis made out of the sale of Pegasus House in Accra and that of Takoradi Tank Farm last year was almost all repatriated. He said the relationship between the general manager and staff has grown so sour that his continued presence will not augur well for the company. Mr Yennah said in the four years that Mr Riding has been in Ghana, about 40 workers have been sacked without any clear reasons. "He controls the company with high handedness and gross disrespect towards staff and public opinion".

Mr Riding in a separate interview, told reporters that the issue is being handled by the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare and would therefore not make any comment. But he expressed the hope that a friendly atmosphere would be created for discussion between management and staff for a resolution of the problem.

Source: --
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