Workers' rights Govt will punish abusive foreign firms

The government says it will not hesitate to revoke the free zones license given to companies that are found to be maltreating Ghanaian workers.

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Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Minister play

Haruna Iddrisu, Employment and Labour Minister

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The government will not hesitate to revoke the free zones license given to companies that are found to be maltreating Ghanaian workers, Minister of Labour and Employment Relations, Haruna Iddrisu, has said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the board of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission, Iddrisu said his Ministry is currently looking into all issues of worker maltreatment by foreign companies operating in Ghana.

This comes after reports of ill-treatment meted out to an employee of Gateway Logistics Limited in Takoradi, who was chained to a container by his Italian supervisor, Manlio Maggiorotto for allegedly loitering around during working hours.

“We’ve jointly taken a position on the matter not to end at the condemnation of the act which is an affront to our labour legislations and practices in Ghana; but to punish same and therefore appropriate steps are being taken, even if it means a revocation of that free zones license,” Citi FM reported him saying.

Iddrisu said he has directed the Chief Labour Office to invite the management of Gateway Logistics Limited for questioning.

“I would have no hesitation as I said to recommend a revocation of that free zones license to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, if that particular employer is not seen to be respecting the laws of our country and recognizing and respecting the rights of workers,” he said.

This year, there have been at least three incidents of foreign employers accused of mistreating their local workers, earlier this year, an employee of the Peterpan Restaurant in Accra was slapped with a piece of hot pizza, by her Korean employer.

While this month, A Turkish expatriate was arrested by the Akyem Oda Police Command for allegedly assaulting a Ghanaian worker.

The suspect, who is a management member of the ARDA group company undertaking the Oda-Akwati-Winneba and Cape Coast water project is alleged to have assaulted the worker who sustained life-threatening injuries and was rushed to the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital for treatment.

The workers had demonstrated over alleged abuses meted out to them by their employers.

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