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10.05.2004 Business & Finance

Union gives ultimatum to GCD management

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Akwatia, May 10, GNA- The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GAWU) of the Ghana Consolidated Diamonds (GCD) Limited has given management of the company a seven-day ultimatum to address certain problems confronting workers or the union would itself.

A letter dated May 6, 2004, and addressed to the Managing Director and copied to the GCD Board, Minister of Mines, the Kwaebibirem District Chief Executive and the District Labour Officer, the Union threatened that if by the close of day on Wednesday May 12, the issues raised were not satisfactorily addressed, it would take the necessary steps to safeguard the interest of its members.

The letter signed by Mr. Anthony A. Adomako, Branch Union Secretary cited the non-payment of workers "salary related portions" and delays in payment of salaries.

It said fees to scholarship holders of employees' wards are not paid keeping them away from school even though schools are in session. Workers provident funds contributions and loans deductions have not been paid by the company for four months, the letter said.

Mr. Adomako said even though management has met with the leadership of the union when it received the letter, reasons given concerning the issues raised were not satisfactory.

He said over the years workers have had to cope with very difficult situations to work in order to survive. The time has come, they contended, for the workers to advise themselves.

The Secretary said due to obsolete plant and machinery the company has been running at a loss for sometime now.

A section of workers who were all wearing red armbands were of the view that the only solution to the problems was to divest the company. They wondered why the company's divestiture has taken so long despite assurances by government to divest it.

Attempts by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) to get management proved futile since the Managing Director, Dr. Maxwell Kusi-Mensah was out of town.

The General Manager, Mr. James Lemaine would not talk to the press saying he could not "by-pass" the Managing Director.