Ghana: Cocoa 'Loading Boys' Withdraw Services

Tema — Carriers of cocoa across warehouses in the country on Wednesday embarked on an indefinite industrial action to demand more pay for their services.

They want the COCOBOD to increase the wage for carrying a bag of cocoa from 65 pesewas to GH¢1.00.

During a visit yesterday to the cocoa shed (COCOBOD) in Tema trucks numbering about 50 fully loaded with bags of cocoa were seen parked in the yard.

The usually busy spectacle of trucks moving in and out of the yard was absent.

One of the leaders of the striking workers, Godwin Ocansey, said there had not been any increase in their wages for close to five years and all efforts to get management to do something about their meagre wages had fallen on deaf ears so they decided to embark on the industrial action to seek redress.

"We have suffered for too long, cost of living had been going up steadily yet anytime we urge our managers to do something about our wages they give us empty promises that never get fulfilled," he said.

Mr Ocansey said they had gotten to a stage where the 65 pesewas paid per bag could no longer sustain their families or ensure a decent living.

A driver named Ibrahim Halidu, said he conveyed cocoa from Kumasi to the shed five days ago but due to the strike the labourers were not available to help offload the cargo.

He said normally he could make two trips in a week but due to the situation he had been stranded and losing money.

"I appeal to the authorities and the carriers to find an amicable solution to the problem so that we can go about our business," he said.

When contacted the Security Supervisor at the gate, Warrant Officer 1 (rtd) Nkrumah Thomas, said officials of the company and some representatives of the workers were in a meeting to resolve the issue.

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