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05.08.2004 General News

GNA staff resume work

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Accra, Aug. 5, GNA - Workers of the Ghana News Agency who stopped work early on Thursday to compel the chairman and vice chairman of the union executive to resign have decided to resume work after a meeting with the management. The workers' action was also to urge Management to take full control of the situation "and apply the rules".

Mr Robert Kafui Johnson, General Manager, told the workers that Management and the Board of Directors were working to find a peaceful solution to the problem. He, therefore, appealed to the workers to resume work. The meeting was also told that the union had refused to receive a letter that had been addressed to them by the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Mr Rex Owusu-Ansah. The Chairman and Vice Chairman were not at the meeting.

Thursday's action by the workers was in reaction to some letters written by the union executives on behalf of the union when there had been no meeting. In a letter published by the Daily Graphic, a national newspaper, on July 27, Mr Ben Mintah, Chairman and Gilbert Agyepong-Darko, Vice-Chairman of the Union claimed that the workers of GNA asked President John Agyekum Kufuor not to renew the contract of Mr Johnson. They also claimed that the General Manager's contract 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 he had woefully failed to do so. It also alleged that Mr Johnson's relationship with workers was bad and that "he is dictatorial and bossy". The workers subsequently held a meeting on July 28, at which five of the seven-member union executives who were present dissociated themselves from the publication.

The angry workers asked the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Local Union to resign, apologise and retract the story they had caused to be published in the media about the Agency. The workers 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. They asked the Management to take disciplinary action against Mr Mintah, and Mr Agyepong-Darko because they did not follow laid down procedure.

Various workers pointed out that it 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 because the contents are lies.

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