Unfair dismissal: Coca-Cola workers demonstrate

Workers of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana have embarked on a mass action against the removal of what they term unfair dismissal of about 30 staff.

Coca-Cola

The workers, who have been protesting in their red arm and headbands, accused the company of unfair treatment to their colleagues.

Solomon Kotei, the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union, who was present to show solidarity with the 'aggrieved' staff said the union will ensure that justice is served to the workers.

"In our history, this is the first time an employer lays off workers without using due process. The law requires that when a company is going to carry out such an exercise, the number of people to be affected should be known, again, the criteria of selection for those to be laid-off should be set clearly. All these have not been done.”

"And to think that they issued a letter admitting to not following due process, this does not create a safe environment for any worker here. Our mission here is to get management of Coca-Cola to do the right thing," Solomon Kotei.

On September 3, 2020, Coca-Cola of Ghana eliminated thousands of jobs in the country.

The cut down in jobs the company said was due to a collapse in business which has been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It said the redundancies have become necessary to help keep the business viable.

An internal memo dated August 31, 2020, and signed by the Business Unit Managing Director WAC of the Company, Felix Gomis, informed that the company's intention which will be carried out per the provisions of Section 65 of the Labour Act 2003 (ACT 651).

In the memo which was addressed to all staff, the Chief Labour Officer of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations stated that "In accordance with Section 65 (2), all affected employees shall receive a "Redundancy Pay" and in lieu of notice, payment shall be made for the notice period, where necessary. The leadership of the respective Trade Unions, ICU, and UNICOF have in accordance with law been notified, and management will be with them to discuss the terms and conditions of the severance."

"After the Unions and the Management have agreed on the terms and conditions of the severance, the details shall be communicated to the affected staff through their Line Managers.

"In the meantime, Management expects all staff to continue to carry out their obligations in accordance with the existing Collective Agreements and the Labour Act 2003 until the effective date of termination. Your usual cooperation in this process is anticipated to ensure an uneventful transition," the memo said.

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