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Government must save STC from collapse – Workers

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Workers of Intercity STC (ISTC) on Monday appealed to government to urgently intervene on the company’s behalf to halt an impending auctioning of the company’s properties on Wednesday 3rd October.

The workers say government must by Tuesday October 2nd “Do something about the situation and take steps to rescue the dying company from its present state”.

Mr Joseph Addo, Secretary, Senior Staff Association, ISTC at a press briefing in Accra, said currently Prudential Bank had obtained a court order to auction the Company’s properties by Wednesday to defray its loan of $3.8 million.

The said loan was acquired from Prudential Bank to purchase some Chinese buses for the Company during the tenure of former board Chairman of the ISTC, who is now the Managing Director of Prudential Bank.

Mr Addo said the Company was also indebted currently to the tune of GH¢43 million to various banks and institutions including National Investment Bank, Prudential Bank and J.A. Plant Pool.

He alleged that the debts came about as a result of mismanagement under the previous leadership, lack of re-investment by government and SSNIT, shareholders of company, inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the previous Board and lack of performing and due diligence before acquisition of loan.

Mr Addo noted that originally, the collateral for the loan was the Chinese buses and the proceeds from its operations. “It is strange that buildings were later used as collateral without the written consent of the shareholders as far as we have come to know”.

“ISTC is on the verge of collapse. The majority shareholder SSNIT has written to government with copies to ISTC of its intention to offload its shares after taking the juiciest part of the ISTC, which is VCL Bulk Haulage and now renamed it as Trust logistics, yet government has not responded nor shown any sign of interest”.

Mr Addo said several attempts made to draw attention of government to the Company’s situation for it to support and revamp ISTC had not received any favourable response.

He said since 2006, the company showed signs of bankruptcy and that workers had to tighten their belt to sustain the operation of the company but “without any improvement in the conditions of service for the past eight years.”

The company, according to Mr Addo, had not paid workers salaries for the past three months. “As if this is not already enough, we have the uncertainty of coming to work no more from Wednesday October 2012”.

The workers, therefore, called on government to intervene with much needed attention before the proposed auction and also look for a strategic partner to help revamp the company which currently has over 520 staff and offices nationwide.

The workers, comprising of both senior and junior staff clad themselves with red arm-bands, burnt car tyres at the bus terminal and chanted war songs to show their anguish.

Source: GNA

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