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28.07.2004 Press Review

GNA workers are angry

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Accra, July 28, GNA - Angry workers of the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday asked the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Local Union to resign, apologise and retract a story they caused to be published in the media about the Agency.

They said the publication did not only undermine unity in the Agency and destroy the goodwill towards it, but had also brought it into disrepute and ridicule thus necessitating the action they were calling for.

They asked the Management to take disciplinary action against Mr Ben Mintah, Chairman and Mr Gilbert Agyepong-Darko, Vice Chairman of the Local Union of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) because they did not follow laid down procedure.

Mr Mintah and Mr Agyepong-Darko were not present at the meeting, which was convened by the Local Secretary of the Union, Mr Anwomea Ackah Blay.

Mr Blay informed the meeting that Mr Mintah had been called to the Castle over the same issue and was in a queue to meet an official there. Before the vote could be taken, five of the Executive Members of the Union, who were present at the meeting called for a postponement because the Chairman and Vice Chairman had not arrived.

Not long after Mr Agyepong-Darko walked in and whispered to the Executives and left.

The workers insisted that the vote should be taken. At that point Ms Sapphire Giftan, Second Vice-Chairman, Mr Alfred Allotey, Assistant Secretary and the Secretary, Mr Blay went out of the meeting room leaving Mr Nii Armah Teiko, a Trustee, before the vote was taken. The meeting followed a publication in a national daily claiming that the workers of GNA were asking President John Agyekum Kufuor not to renew the contract of the Mr Kafui Johnson, General Manager, which they claimed would end on September 1.

The publication also claimed that Mr Johnson was appointed to re-organise the GNA under the Public Sector Reform Programme (PSRP) but had failed woefully.

The publication claimed that the relationship of Mr Johnson with workers was bad and that "he is dictatorial and bossy".

The Second Vice Chairman, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, First Trustee and Second Trustee who were at the meeting said the Executives met and discussed the issue but there was no agreement. They were, therefore, surprised when they found the story in the newspaper. They said they had been meeting on the issue and had informed the Mother Union, which was planning to send the Industrial Relations Officer to meet the whole workforce.

Various workers pointed out that this was not the first time that signed or anonymous letters had been published in the media to malign the General Manager and the Agency causing a lot of pain to individuals concerned and tarnishing the reputation of the Agency.

They said publication of unauthorised letters in the media should cease forthwith.

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