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Cocoa sector 'There's so much rot in COCOBOD' - GAWU

“There is a lot of rot in COCOBOD and we think that the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Opuni must be stopped," Mr. Kareweh said.

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The Industrial Workers Union (ICU) and the General Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) are demanding investigations into the activities of the Chief Executive of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD), Dr. Stephen Opuni.

The two unions are accusing him of presiding over massive corruption which is crippling the cocoa sector.

The Deputy General Secretary of GAWU, Edward Kareweh in an interview on Radio Ghana claimed that “there is a lot of rot in COCOBOD and we think that the Chief Executive of COCOBOD, Dr. Opuni must be stopped which is why we are asking the government to carry out an investigation.”

These accusations come on the back of a decision by the workers of COCOBOD to end their relationship with their mother unions; the ICU and GAWU.

The workers accused the two unions of failing to protect their interests and have since declared the formation of an in-house union.

In response, the ICU and GAWU accused the leadership of COCOBOD of fuelling the breakaway of its workers for selfish gains.

GAWU and ICU are therefore, challenging the decision at the Human Rights Court.

According to Mr Kareweh, the fight is not about GAWU and ICU alone, but rather, it’s about the “whole of TUC and the whole of Organized Labour.”

He said it will be difficult for the in-house union to effectively negotiate for proper conditions of service but the mother unions “who are not paid by COCOBOD and so they have leverage.

“The workers of COCOBOD will suffer a lot if they join the in-house union and immediately that union comes into being, the management will now clamp on them and they will have no other union or any person to protect them again.”

He explained that “you can only opt out of the union individually. You can’t opt out of the union en bloc; it does not lie in anyone’s prerogative to write on behalf of workers that they are out of the union.”

“This is what they have done and we are saying that it is improper so we are looking up to the court to do with the matter,” he added.

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