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29.11.2005 General News

Novotex former employees appeal for payment of severance award

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Nkawkaw, Nov. 29, GNA - Over 200 former employees of Novotex Limited, have appealed to the National Labour Commission (NLC) to intervene in their struggle with the Board of Directors of the company to pay them their severance awards. Novotex, a private wood processing company at Nkawkaw, was closed down in August 2003

In a petition signed by Mr John Kingsley Dadzie, the local branch chairman of the Timber and Wood Workers Union (TWU) and Mr Joe Ansah, Export Manager of the company to the NLC, the workers said the factory was established in 1976 with the National Investment Bank (NIB) and Nkawkaw Sawmill Limited as shareholders.

It said the factory, which processed wood into chipboard, veneer and plywood for export and local use offered employment to over 200 people, mostly the youth in the Kwahu area.

The petition said in August 2003, the Board unilaterally ordered the closure of the factory and the employees sent home at a time the company owed the workers three months salary arrears. It said most of the machinery of the factory had been dismantled and sold as scraps without the knowledge of the employees, while all efforts by the employees to negotiate for the payment of the severance emoluments, estimated at over 2.8 billion cedis, had failed. The petition urged the NLC to intervene for the payment of the their severance awards as contained in their Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It said some of the employees, who had worked with the factory since its establishment, fin it difficult to cater for their children's education and other family needs.