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GIHOC workers angry as GH₵‎300m debt cripples operations

Give management 3-day ultimatum to address their concerns

GIHOC workers angry and have given management three working days to address six major concerns or face their wrath.

They also want Maxwell Kofi Jumah, Managing Director of the company to stay away to enable the Interim Management Committee (IMC) to continue with its work without any interference.

According to the workers, the fortunes of GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited have taken a turn for the worse under the leadership of Jumah who has been the MD of the company for six years now.

GH₵‎300m Debt

Painting the dire state of the company, the workers said that during a durbar at GIHOC premises on May 4, 2023, a Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Michael Okyere Baafi announced that the company’s debt amounts to GH₵‎300 million.

They claim that Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and other supplies are on the neck of GIHOC and even want to lock the company over unpaid obligations.

GIHOC workers angry

Despite heavy police presence, the GIHOC workers angry with the situation and clad in red armbands embarked on a protest at the premises of the company and vented out their frustrations.

Per documents sighted by The Finder, the workers expressed satisfaction with the actions of the IMC which they are happy and hopeful about and don’t want anybody’s interference.

Collective Bargaining Agreement not signed since 2020

According to the workers, management has refused to sign Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) since 2020 till date.

Delays in salary payment

They also want delay in the payment of monthly salary which has been the situation from September 2022 to April 2023 addressed immediately saying some people have not received their salary for the month of March 2023.

Provident Fund, SSNIT contributions in arrears

According to them, Provident Fund contributions have been in arrears since January 2022 while Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contribution is also in arrears for three months now.

Nonpayment for overtime

They also accused management of not paying for overtime which has been outstanding since last year.

“Workers are asked to work on some weekends and the company refuses to pay overtime. Those who refuse to come are threatened that they will be sacked,” the petition said.

Nonpayment of 13th month salary

The workers pointed out that Article 37 of their Collective Bargaining Agreement states payment of 13th month salary.

However, management has failed to honor this article For the year 2021 and 2022 while end of year incentives were also denied them since 2019

Nonpayment of Laundry Allowance

They also complained about the nonpayment of laundry allowance which is stated in article 58 of their Collective Bargaining Agreement despite several reminders by union leaders.

Heavy police at GIHOC

Yesterday, police trooped to the premises of GIHOC as the workers wore red armbands to oppose the return of the MD.

The MD was on sick leave for some time but workers have been notified about his return which has angered the workers who accuse Jumah of running down the down to the point of collapse.

Scores of police personnel trooped to premises of GIHOC and positioned themselves at vantage points in anticipation of a possible demonstrate by the workers against the return of the MD.
Jumah posted on the workers WhatsApp platform which reads “I hear there was a meeting this morning. Odame has suggested that they should wear red hand bands.

“I am directing that you can wear arm bands anywhere but not on the premises of GIHOC. You will be escorted out of GIHOC”.

Kaneshie Police Commander invited the union leaders to a meeting in his office.

In a memo signed by Akwasi Owusu Fordjour, Board Secretary, the Board of Directors of the company issued a memo which reads “all managers are to take notice that henceforth, the Board of Directors of GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited on the 15th Day of May, 2023 has dissolved the Interim Management Committee (IMC).

“The substantive Managing Director will from today be in-charge of the day-to-day administration of the company.”

On April 17, 2023, the Board of Directors set up an Interim Management Committee to handle the day-to-day running of the State-owned Enterprise (SOE) until the return of the MD.

It comprised Lawyer Annette Obenewaa Adutwum as Chairperson, Richmond Sam Quarm as Vice-Chairperson and Daniel Odame-Member.

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