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17.03.2005 Business & Finance

HFC workers want management to negotiate for CBA

By GNA

Tema, March 17, GNA -- Workers of Holiday Fishing Company Limited (HFC) at Tema on Thursday went on a four-hour demonstration to back their demand for a Collective Bargaining Agreement to protect their rights.

They said attempts the Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) made to get management of HFC to negotiate a CBA for its workers since 1999 has yielded no results.

This, they said, has left workers being maltreated and cheated by management without compensation.

"We are not entitled to annual leave, any holidays, not even pension and someone who has worked for over 12 years in the company could just be sacked one day without compensation, and this is cheating on the part of management".

They also demanded that 25 out of the 32 Laida sailors who went to sea on November 24, 2004 but were brought back after 91 days and sacked from the company without any compensation be re-instated. Briefing the press the company's Union Chairman, Mr Henry Oppong, said the sailors complained about overstay at sea as well as the sale of fish on the high seas by their captain that is against the Fisheries Act 652.

He said the Captain became offended and asked those who could not bear with the situation to get back home by the next available boat. He said on March 6, 25 out of the 32 sailors returned home but were asked to leave the company without any compensation even though some had worked for more than 12 years with the company.

The demonstrators carried placards which had 'Respect the local union and the laws of the land, workers are not slaves", "Pay the Laida Sailors and re-instate them if you want peace" and respect the workers' right.

They have also threatened that if nothing positive is heard within few days the entire MDU and the Tema District Council of Labour would embark on a massive demonstration in solidarity with their colleagues at HFC.

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