Hull Blyth Ghana workers agitate over promotion

Business News of Thursday, 11 April 2013

Source: Karim Hamza


Workers of Hull Blyth Ghana Limited, a ship agency are seething with anger over what the workers have termed as administrative injustice relating promotions in the establishment.

The irate workers in a memo to the managing director strongly criticized management’s decision to promote one Isaac Agbesi to the position of Assistant Manager above Fredrick Ebo Quansah, who is relatively ahead of the latter in terms of long service. The move, according to reports, has struck a wrong chord between management and union members, as both blocs are unwilling to soften their stance.

According to the workers, the convention has been that positions of that nature are usually advertised internally, to enable serving employees with requisite qualification and experience to apply. After that the most senior staff member with the ability to deliver is picked over those seen as subordinates, the chairman of the local union, Mr Ebo Quansah said in a telephone interview.

The workers in their three-page memo accused management of imploring divide and rule tactics, insisting they were legally and professionally mandated to intervene in cases like this. The development, the workers added, could demoralize the staff, if not properly addressed.

“Unfortunately, the two employees in the centre of this case are part of the core of respected activists of our union and it is important that our motives are understood as taking position on the side of justice and not based on personalities,” the memo stated.

However, the union chairman disclosed that union members felt betrayed upon hearing Mr Agbesi had accepted the offer from management when he (Agbesi) is aware that due process was not followed. “So our resolve to help reverse the decision of the management is to ensure fairness and proper coordination among workers. There have been certain principles and it is important that we always recognize that,” Mr Ebo Quansah said. In the estimation of the union, contemporary corporate governance has shifted from “unilateral exercise of prerogatives” to the realm of negotiations and consensus building hence the decision to engage management on the matter.

Against that backdrop, the union cautioned that the form and manner in which the promotion exercise was conducted would create massive distortion in the structure of the company’s operations department and could lead to frustration among the employees. Sharing this thoughts on the matter, the General Secretary of the Ghana Maritime and Dockworkers’ Union, divulged that the management’s action violates general industrial practice.

Mr Daniel Owusu Koranteng could not fathom why a junior worker was considered ahead of his senior colleague, who has proven his capabilities over the years. He warned failure to address the impasse could adversely affect the general output of the workers, adding that “all is not lost the situation can still be salvage”.

However, the Human Resource Manager of the company, Mrs Christine Adotey, in an interview said plans were afoot to address the concerns of the workers, stressing that “due process will be followed”.

“Management is prepared to engage union members and see how best the issue can be address. There is a meeting on Tuesday so everything would be addressed amicably,” she submitted.