UNICOF demands removal of Board, Management of Merchant Bank

The National Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) on Tuesday called for the removal of the Board of Directors and the Management of the Merchant Bank Ghana Limited.

The union also called for immediate reinstatement of Reverend Smart Jonas Koranteng, the Chairman of the Professional and Managerial Staff Union (PMSU) as ruled by the National Labour Commission (NLC).

They accused the Board and the Management of the bank of cronyism, mismanagement, conflict of interest, bad industrial relations practices, poor management and causing financial loss to the shareholders.

Mr Francis Kofi Davoh, the General Secretary, addressing a press conference in Accra to highlight happenings at the bank said persistent reports about the malfeasance and rots going on in the bank led to the termination of appointment of PMSU Chairman.

He said although the NLC ruled that the PMSU Chairman should be reinstated Management had failed to comply and instead resort to court “knowing very well that the burden and impact of termination is not on them but the affected employee.”

“Today, we declare our intention to engage in a struggle not only to protect our trade union rights – which are also human rights – but to protect the hen that lays the golden egg. The current management and Board cannot under any guises be allowed to continue operating in the bank,” he said.

He said: “any Board and Management who does not do all it can to protect the interest of employees and does not seek a peaceful industrial relations atmosphere but draws the sword with workers and workers representatives at the least opportunity is not worth its sort and must be removed…..more so if workers money is the largest investment of that entity.”

Mr Davoh said the Board and Management of the Merchant Bank fell into that category and must be removed because in addition to their bad industrial relations practices over the past three years, they had poorly managed the Bank.

He said they had informed employers of all other locals or member institutions that UNICOF members would wear red bands until further notice.

“Whereas this is not directly aimed at them, the action of the Board and Management of merchant Bank portends such danger to trade union rights everywhere such that collective action is needed to cure this mischief.

“Since notice has already been given to the NLC, we will commence our intended industrial action at a time of our choosing. All UNICOF locals are directed to with immediate effect wear red bands and our members are to remain vigilant and await further directives,” the General Secretary added.

Meanwhile, Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Trades Union Congress, (TUC) described the termination of appointment of the PMSU Chairman as unlawful and called for his immediate reinstatement.

“Merchant Bank’s case is a wrongful dismissal of union leader who is discharging his legal and legitimate roles and it is time we respect each other’s duties,” he said and assured the public that  the TUC would ensure that the wrong was corrected.

He said union work is legitimate and it was about time both employers learn to respect the views of the union.

“Sometimes it only shows arrogance on the part of employers to show union leaders where power lies. It is important that they look at the substance of what the union leaders are demanding for and not to victimize them,” he added.

Source: GNA

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