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14.12.2007 General News

Organized labour says its opposition to sale of ADB is irreversible


The Trades Union Congress (TUC) says its opposition to the sale of the Agricultural Development Bank (ADB) represented the national interest and therefore irreversible.

Mr Wilson Agana, Chairman of the Tema District Council of Labour, was speaking to the Ghana News Agency at Ho before he led about 400 workers from various labour unions within the Ho District Council of Labour in a parade through some principal streets of Ho to protest the proposed divestiture deal.

"Our views represent those of the mass of the people, mainly peasant farmers who would be impoverished and left stranded if government went ahead to offload the Bank of Ghana's 48 percent shares in the ADB to the Standard Bank of Africa (STANBIC) as planned," he said.

The workers dressed in T-Shirts with the inscription "Stop the Sale of ADB" carried placards condemning the proposed deal as against the interest of workers and farmers and alleging government was not being transparent enough about the sale.

Mr Agana, who is coordinating the TUC's organized protests across the country, said congress would resort to appropriate options of protests including strikes if its calls went unheeded.

Mr Maxwell Akoto-Mireku, TUC Volta Regional Secretary, denied that the ADB was distressed dismissing reasons of re-capitalization being given by government as not tangible.

He said if the ADB needed more capital injection that could be done through floating shares on the stock market as in the case of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB).

Mr Akoto-Mireku said the TUC was collating views on the proposed sale of ADB and would come out with a full statement after its forthcoming Executive Board Meeting.

Mr Joseph Quansah, an Officer in the Research Department of the TUC in Accra, said the proposed sale was an imposition, warning that if the deal was struck many workers would lose their preferred credit source and farmers would have no bank to deal with.

The ADB has four branches in the Volta Region - Denu, Hohoe, Nkwanta and Juapong.

Mr Quansah claimed a planned opening of a branch of ADB in Ho is being delayed by the proposed sale.

The protest march ended at the forecourts of the Volta Regional Coordinating Council (VRCC) where a memorandum of opposition to sale of the Bank was presented to the Mr Kofi Dzamesi, Volta Regional Minister, to be passed on to the Ministers of Finance and Manpower, Youth and Employment.