“You Monkeys”- Manager to Ghanaian workers
It has become a well-known ritual among some expatriate companies operating in Ghana—the wrongful dismissal of workers and counter accusations of framing up and verbal abuses.
A former employee of Red Back Mining Company based in Bibiani, Lawrence Adu is holding a list of complaints ready to appear before the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to prove he had been abused and wrongfully dismissed by the company.
According a petition lodged with CHRAJ, Adu argues that he was sacked because he complained when an expatriate officer, Rob White called him and three others (Emmanuel Egpemenyo, Emmanuel Dzokoto and Benjamin) “ @!#$ you monkeys”
“I can say with all confidence that my appointment was terminated not because I was incompetent but because I reported Mr Rob White, the Environmental and Safety Manager of Chirano Gold Mines, a subsidiary of Red Back, for insulting (us) four Ghanaians as “ monkeys”
In the petition dated May 19, 2005, Adu hopes that CHRAJ will look into the circumstances surrounding his appointment and wrongful dismissal and take the appropriate action against the company and Rob White who abused them.
Adu was employed as a caretaker in the Red Back mining office in Accra and had worked there diligently until he was fired for alleged incompetence.
Adu in the company of three of his colleagues were working on an ambulance at the company's office in Accra under the supervision of Rob White when suddenly he flared up and insulted them “ @!#$ you monkeys”
After making an initial report to the office manager who told them there was nothing he could do about it, Adu later made another formal report to Mr Francis Agbezo, a Ghanaian manger who confronted White but he denied ever calling them 'monkey'.
Rob White later accused Adu of stealing his $600 to which he (Adu) vehemently denied because his work at the mining company had been impeccable and no guest had ever complained about his work.
Rob White himself had given him gifts for his hard work and subservience in carrying out his duties even outside his official hours such as “ finding girls for him”.
When the Ghana Chamber of Mines was contacted, its chief executive, Ms Joyce Aryee confirmed that the complainant petitioned the CHRAJ and copied the Chamber of Mines.
She said since CHRAJ has the mandate to handle such cases, the chamber could only wait for CHRAJ to announce its decision.