April 24, 2024

…But Management Member calls them ingrates

Angry workers of GIHOC Distilleries Company Limited, yesterday held a protest at the premises of the company for an improvement in their conditions of service.

The staff also demanded the immediate removal of the Managing Director, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, over mismanagement of the state-owned company. But they are being described as ingrates.

Mr Jumah, who turns 73 next month, is an in-law of the President, Nana Akufo-Addo. His son is married to a daughter of the President. This is not the first time that there has been an agitation about his management of the GIHOC Distilleries, but the government turned deaf ears to the concerns.

The employees, clad in red, were agitated by what they said was a delay in payment of their salaries and other entitlements.

They also disclosed delays in the payment of their Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions and Provident fund.

While, their compensation rates are falling behind monetarily for an extensive period of time, their SSNIT responsibilities and Helpful resource have been monetarily past due for practically a year now.

The workers set out on a contradiction at the premises of the association amidst significant police presence yesterday.

According to the workers, the fortunes of GIHOC processing plants have gotten monstrous under the drive of Mr. Jumah who has been the MD of the association for quite a long time as of now.

Samuel Mbura, an employee revealed that “the challenge we have is that our SSNIT has not been paid and our provident fund has not been paid for almost 18 months now. So this is what we are fighting for, we are not fighting the management or the MD.”

Clad in red armbands, the workers vented their frustrations to the media calling on the government to immediately relieve him of his duties.

“The workers cannot produce raw materials, neither is the company able to pay workers, provident fund, and SSNIT for almost a year. Earnings and salaries hardly come, as I speak to you about three months’ salaries haven’t come. There are several other concerns, goods are sold and monies don’t go to the company’s account,” a worker told Citi Business News.

Another staff member also told JoyNews that contrary to what people might believe, they are not demonstrating but only demanding they are treated right.

The employees believe that new management can better handle the affairs of the company.

The Sales Manager, Nana Kwesi Adubofour, described the protest as unfortunate; noting that this could only happen because of the “over-generosity” of the Managing Director.

“The reason I am saying this is that most of the people that are agitating were casual workers. The MD made them permanent workers, and some of them received GHS250 and GHS500. This time they are receiving not less than GHS1500 a month.”

“What are they talking about the incompetence of the MD? During Covid period, we even employed some of them doing that demonstration. We have 565 workers, so if you have these 20 people just loitering and saying all these things because the man was generous to them, it is very unfortunate.”

Mr Adubofour revealed that the MD had been unwell for about two months, triggering the creation of an Interim Management Committee (IMC) to manage affairs on his behalf.

“The very people doing the agitation are from technical and production staff. The board dissolved the IMC, and the technical manager was part of the IMC. So, what happened three weeks ago that was different from today?”

“If you ask me if there is any element of sabotage I will say yes. Because if indeed, their grievances are genuine and they want to do it right, why did they wait till the assumption of the MD? Why did they not stage the demonstration three weeks ago, but today? Why did they not stage the demonstration when the IMC was in charge of affairs?” he quizzed.

Mr Adubofour believes that someone might be trying to sabotage the work of the managing director.


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