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15.07.2004 General News

IoJ asks Ghana High Commissioner to resolve dispute

By Press Gazette UK
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The Chartered Institute of Journalists has intervened and urged the High Commissioner for Ghana to help resolve an 11-month dispute at West Africa magazine.

The row centres around the non-payment of salaries and pension contributions and a lack of P45s. Staff say they have been trying to contact representatives of the management company Afrimedia International and claim all their attempts to seek clarification have been ignored.

Graphic Communications, which is owned by the government of Ghana, is the majority shareholder in the company. The IoJ sent a petition to the High Commissioner, calling on him to use his contacts and persuade the owners of Graphic Communications to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

Frank Afful, managing editor of West Africa magazine, said: “We felt it important to make a direct appeal to someone with government connections in the hope that it may persuade Graphic Communications to take its responsibilities to its staff seriously”.

He added: “This unfortunate development, which Graphic Group is not doing much to resolve, is not compatible with the tenets of human rights and is damaging the international image of the government and the good people of Ghana”.

West Africa magazine was founded more than 80 years ago.

IoJ general secretary Dominic Cooper also criticised the group. “Staff have not been paid, sacked or made redundant; they have just been left in limbo,” he said.

“The management company are nowhere to be seen and all communications are ignored. Passing the buck of responsibility is unacceptable. It is time for Graphic Communications and the government of Ghana to make every effort to bring about a credible resolution to this matter by paying all outstanding staff salaries and compensation”.

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