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22.04.2004 General News

Sacked Ayensu Starch Co.: Workers Cry Foul

By Independent

Some 28 dismissed workers of Ayensu Starch Company limited (ASCO) at Awutu Bawjiase in the Central Region are crying foul over what they termed arbitrary dismissal.

The workers, who were all with the Weighing Division of the company with the designation, Weighing Clerks, are contesting the manner in which management of the ASCO terminated their appointments.

The Independent gathered from the dismissed workers that the termination of their appointment was issued verbally to them on 8th April 2004 against the laid down regulations in the country as regards the termination of appointments. “We were asked to submit our calculators and receipt books back to management of the company”, the workers narrated.

Attempts to get management of the company to explain to the dismissed workers its reason for the haste in the decision to sack them, the dismissed workers said, was rebutted by top men of the company, who claimed that as casual workers, their status was not a guarantee. But although the aggrieved workers conceded that they were employed as casual workers, their almost one year stay with the company was imperative for management to have considered their various applications to offer them permanent jobs. What irked them most was what they considered as the unilateral decision by management to slash their allowances in the month of March this year. They maintained that although they worked for eight days in this month, they were not paid a dime.

A memorandum sighted by newsmen suggests that the dismissed workers had long been agitating for the regularization of their status as permanent staff. In the said memorandum, which was written to the Managing Director and other Management staff of the Ayensu Starch Company, the workers requested their status to be regularized.

The letter, which was written on 26th February 2004, read in part…”For a long time we have been working in conjunction with the field extension officers yet we have not been recognized or notified by the administration. The continued: “In this regard usually our pay delays at the end of every month. Besides that during the 24th February commissioning of the factory the security denied us entry on the grounds that we were not in any identification. The letter concluded thus: “We therefore plead with your efficient administration, hoping this our humble petition of request shall meet your kind consideration.

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