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West African Mills workers petition government for immediate bail out

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BailoutWorkers of the West African Mills Company Limited (WAMCO) organised a demonstration at the forecourt of the Ministry of Trade and Industry to petition government over issues of their welfare following the closure of the company.

Mr Solomon Kotei, the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, (ICU) said efforts by the COCOBOD and the Finance Ministry in securing the workers’ welfare package since the closure had proven futile.

He said their last resort was, therefore, a petition to the President through the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

According to him, the board of WAMCO had been unable to work effectively to avert the losses the company had accumulated over the years, which had led to the closure of the factory but the workers had not been paid their salaries for months.

“We know WAMCO is a viable industry that creates lots of revenues so we can’t accept the fact that there is no money to pay us, our major petition is either the government pays us what is due us and lays us off or the company is re-opened,” he said.

“We are not threatening the government but we will take an action if nothing is done about this,” he said, on behalf of the workers, who were clad in red.

Dr Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, the Minister of Trade and Industry, assured the workers that the Ministry of Finance, which held the Government’s shares in WAMCO, would collaborate with COCOBOD and the Trade Ministry, as well as with other stakeholders, under the oversight of the President, to seek a very quick resolution to the problem.

“We do not want a situation where Ghanaian workers are either unemployed or underemployed or being unpaid for many months and so the matter needs to be resolved so the workers can know their fate,” he said.

He explained that Ministry was aware that WAMCO had been inoperative for many months based on shareholder disagreement and other cocoa industry sector problems facing it.

Dr Spio-Garbrah, however, said it was the decision of the Finance Ministry and the Ghana COCOBOD to reach an agreement on their plight.

However, their petition would be delivered to the President just as the workers had requested.

“It is interesting to note that other companies are interested in investing in Ghana’s cocoa processing sector, and this is a sector that has a great deal of potential,” he said.

Source: GNA

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