Haulage drivers of the Ghana Bauxite Company at Awaso in the Bibiani Anhwianso Bekwai Municipal of Western region have expressed their profound grievances about the current harassment and maltreatment the management of the company is giving to them.
Numbering over two hundred workers of the above company embarked on a sit-down strike in protest of what they say, are the poor conditions of service.
The peace sit down strike was nearly marred with violence as they burnt tyres and chanted war songs, in the quest to register their displeasure to the authorities who have turned death ears to the plea, for the past ten years.
"We have not been giving an appointment letter since we started working for GBC- Haulage as drivers, could you imagine what we are going through when some of us get accident, the officials don't think about us, even when you are sick you have to pay your own hospital bills, in fact these things are giving us severe headache and we want the authorities of the country to hear our concern”, they lamented.
Inscriptions such as, No negotiations, Poor salaries, No union no voice, Bad GBC MD, We don't know who to go to if we have a problem.
Others read, We work 17-24 hours in a day without over time, We have worked continuously for 7 to 8 years and still termed as temporal workers and are not pay any terminal benefit when one is told to go home without doing anything and Injured workers are not pay workmen's compensation.
One of the workers, stated that, there are two agencies involved in the salaries payment, after which they formed some union to speak on their behalf, but the agencies have abandoned whatever decision the union propose in their welfare.
“The mother company, GBC has never thought of our welfare, they are only enjoying with their families and we are also dying,” he said.
"The mother company itself doesn't think about us , our Union has tried several time to sit down with the agencies and the mother company to negotiate on issues that will benefit us but it has never happened no increment in salaries, no incentives, no working leave , no security when a driver is involved in an accident, the most annoying part of the story is that, the management of both the agencies have refused to pick our calls , we are appealing to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo to listen to our plea and call the authorities to order", they reiterated.
Moreover, the Union manager together with some authorities of the agency met to proposed Memorandum of Understanding [MoU] to ascertain the situation ,hence calling on the aggrieved workers to report to work as they ensure their concerns are been attended to in due time.