COCOBOD workers fire ICU, GAWU
Workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) have issued stern warning to the Industrial and Commercial Union (ICU) and General Agriculture Workers, over issues relating to the secession of COCOBOD workers from the two unions.
According to the workers, the decision not to be part of the ICU and GAWU any longer is non-negotiable and no amount of treachery, effusions and tantrums can reverse the situation.
The ICU and GAWU are so much hurt and peeved at the COCOBOD workers’ pulling out to form their own union that they have jointly resorted to lies, fabrication and mischief, to discredit the leadership of the COCOBOD workers.
As a matter of fact, the General Secretary of the ICU, Mr. Solomon Kotei and his GAWU counterpart, Mr. Kingsley Ofei-Nkansah, have resorted to personalizing issues and making things look as if COCOBOD workers have committed a heinous crime by deciding to form their own union; when the Constitution of Ghana makes ample room for Freedom of Association.
The ICU itself broke out from the Trades Union Congress (TUC) some years back. Textiles Workers Union also broke off from the ICU and, so is UNICOF.
The attempt by the financial institutions to broke away from the ICU has led to huge skirmishes at a congress in Kumasi with the ICU scheming from all angles to have the financial institution workers stay in that union.
The ICU in a similar fashion, attempted to have a court injunction to prevent the COCOBOD workers from breaking away, but a court of competent jurisdiction threw that request out.
The Chairman of the Supreme Council, the apex body of the COCOBOD workers, Alhaji Idris Hassan, in plain words, told The Inquisitor that the ICU and GAWU should forget about their mischievous agenda because the COCOBOD workers are on their own now.
He said: “The Constitution of the ICU states that three months notice should be served if there is intent to break away and we the workers of the ICU did just that.”
“I have a huge problem with ICU and GAWU, and the problem is; why are they afraid of the breakaway of COCOBOD workers from the union?” he asked.
According to him, the issues the two unions raised about the Chief Executive of the COCOBOD were all non-starters and were just decoy to deceive the public.
“Transfers are not done by the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, and there is nowhere in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a law that forbids transfer,” he assured.
Alhaji Hassan explained that the only time a worker could not be transferred, is where the person is a union leader or executive, and the transferred is as a result of victimization.
“The ICU and GAWU should be reminded that conditions of service for the Chief Executive Officer of the COCOBOD is not determined by the CEO himself, but is done by following of laid-down procedures,” he explained.
The Supreme Council Chairman said: “The only people who can attest to how hard the CE is working are the COCOBOD workers and cocoa farmers in the country.”
Alhaji Hassan told The Inquisitor that the Chief Executive of COCOBOD does to answer to ICU and GAWU General Secretaries and that the two of them could go ahead to do their dirty politics.
“All that the workers of COCOBOD are saying is that they don’t want anything to do with ICU and GAWU, simple and short. These attacks on the hardworking CEO will simply not wash,” he said.
He said that workers have embraced the secession, and we are moving forward; and that the ICU and GAWU cannot slow the movement.
“Workers of COCOBOD in Sefwi Wiawso, Ashanti, Eastern and Brong Ahafo have embraced the move, and the ICU and GAWU can’t stop us,” he said.
The ICU and GAWU at a press conference last week, made a number of unsubstantiated claims against the CE of COCOBOD in connection with the decision of the workers to break away from the two unions.
The aggression with which the ICU is picking the issue of the breakaway is nothing new as that union is known for preventing of members from breaking away.
The ICU, in particular, went to court over the decision by the COCOBOD workers to breakaway but met its waterloo when the court threw its move to have an injunction against COCOBOD workers out.
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