The management of Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has signed a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and the General Agricultural Workers Union of Ghana (GAWU) to usher in a new era of major advances in the welfare packages of thousands of COCOBOD workers.
The two unions, who represent over 8,000 workers of COCOBOD, have been engaged in negations with the current management for some time now.
The General Secretary of ICU, Mr Solomon Kotei, said “the strength of every management and union is when we have mutually come to the point where we have signed an agreement that binds our relationship and that gives us hope for the future. And now that today has favoured us, we are coming to sign this agreement; we couldn’t do it without proper acknowledgement for the man in the chair, Joseph Boahen Aidoo, who made it all happen.”
Mr Kotei was speaking at the signing ceremony of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, held on February 27, 2019 at the headquarters of the Ghana Cocoa Board in Accra.
He bemoaned the uncooperative nature of the immediate-past management of COCOBOD on issues of worker welfare negotiations, saying “somebody also sat in this chair [as Chief Executive] and this privilege was totally lost for everybody and nobody could ask him; why are we not negotiating… and that brought us to that painful moment”.
Mr Kotei was, however, expectant of good times ahead. In expressing confidence in the current Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Mr Jospeh Boahen Aidoo, he said, “Now we have found a man whose yes is yes and whose no is no. The beautiful thing about him is that he is forthright. So we have come to this table to give a lot of hope to the over 8,000 workers that we all represent at this table”.
In recognising the importance of the signing ceremony, the General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh also stated that there wouldn’t have been a negotiation if all parties were not ready to compromise. “Our honourable chief executive chose to make history in a peaceful manner. We will remember you today and in future for this peaceful exercise done for the sake of the industry and for the sake of our country.”
In responding to the two union leaders, the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Joseph Boahen Aidoo said the signing of the Collective Bargaining Agreement also marks the strengthening of the co-operation between management, the union and staff of COCOBOD. “We must continue to strengthen that relationship built over the past two years,” he added.
He encouraged a deepening of co-operation between the board of COCOBOD, its management, the unions, workers, farmers and all stakeholders. He invited everyone to come to the table at any moment and in good time to allow for a good negotiating effort for the benefit of all.
He assured the gathering that management is committed to ensuring that the welfare of workers, just as that of farmers, is always upheld. “We are going to do everything within our means to make you happy”, as we work together to enhance the image of COCOBOD worldwide, he promised.
Source: The Finder