GOVERNMENT AND the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC) have directed management of Vodafone Ghana to return to the negotiation table and discuss thoroughly the redundancy programme with workers of the company for an amicable settlement.
At a close-door meeting last Friday, Stephen Amokwanor and Haruna Iddrissu, Ministers of Employment and Social Welfare, and Communications respectively, together with Kofi Asamoah, General Secretary of GTUC, asked management of the telecommunication company to stop dealing directly with the workers and engage the executives of the union.
BUSINESS GUIDE learnt the management of Vodafone was requested to within the next 14 days work out the formalities regarding the redundancy programme with the union.
Isaac Abraham, Chief Manager, Corporate Communications, told this paper after the meeting that the parties involved agreed to return to the negotiation table and treat the issue as an industrial relations one.
�We all agreed to refrain from the press war and rather treat the matter very urgently,� Mr. Abraham stated.
He emphasized that the two parties agreed at Friday�s meeting to engage in consultations and solve the issue amicably.
Explaining further, the Chief Manager of Corporate Communications said the whole thing was about the business transformation of Vodafone Ghana.
BUSINESS GUIDE also made frantic efforts to reach the TUC boss but to no avail.
This paper further learnt from the meeting that Vodafone Ghana was bent on carrying out the redundancy programme to save the company from collapse since it had invested several monies into its operations, not to talk about the several recruitments it had made since acquiring the then Ghana Telecom from the New Patriotic Party government late last year.
When management of Vodafone indicated their intention of offloading 950 workers of the company through a compulsory redundancy programme by November this year, some workers expressed their displeasure, culminating in a protest march at the company�s premises last Thursday.
According to the telecommunication giant, the move was to pave way for it to commence a new organizational structure which would take off from December 1, 2009.
Though Vodafone Ghana said it reported a loss of GH�264 million last year and therefore had to turn the firm around to become a strong and successful business for the benefit of customers and employees, the affected workers were not pleased with the decision. Even, the pleasure of taking home some huge thousands of Ghana Cedis depending on the number of years of working, would not persuade them.
But some financial analysts who spoke to BUSINESS GUIDE on condition of anonymity said the company�s large size compared to its competitors and the lack of adequate skill workers had put a strain on its business.
Since Vodafone took over the management of GT, after it acquired 70 percent stake in the national telecom�s operator in November last year, it had offered two voluntary exit programmes; the second one was restricted to non-unionized employees at the request of the union.
The retrenchment programme saw the payment of some millions of Ghana cedis paid as packages to the affected workers.
Source: Daily Guide
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