The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union has confirmed that about 550 of their members have so far been affected by ongoing retrenchment exercises by industries and businesses.
Several businesses and factories in the country are set to lay off more workers in the coming months, Joy News has gathered.
General Secretary of the Union, Solomon Kotei told Joy News workers and the general public should brace up for a more startling figure because the big businesses are yet to present the number of workers they intend to lay off.
Though he would not mention names but with a foreknowledge of the “huge companies” currently discussing the retrenchment exercise, the General Secretary said the figures would be “disturbing”.
Solomon Kotei is worried this mass retrenchment will have an adverse effect on labour and the economy.
He attributed the development to the cedi depreciation against the dollar, a situation he described as “wobbling” which is making it difficult for businesses to plan; dwindling market shares due to influx of imported goods as a result of the open market system.
According to him, what is making the situation worse is the severe load shedding exercise in the country.
“What is breaking the camel’s back is the dum, dumsor,” he emphasised, adding that most workers go to work to idle about without power to work with.
However, the General Secretary said the Union is working around the clock to avert any untold burden on workers and how best to assist the companies to survive.
He also pleaded with employers to give the Union early notice to enable them fashion out the best way to structure any retrenchment.
Meanwhile, beverage giant Coca-Cola has already begun laying off workers as it confirms that a total of 211 of its workforce will be going home by June this year.
The retrenchment will affect mainly their production staff. Some of the workers have already gone home, while another batch will be laid off by the end of this month.
Director of Communications at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Ghana, Isaac Antwi told Joy Business the shake-up is mainly due to excess capacity in terms of personnel and challenges with demand for its products.
Joy News’ Western Regional correspondent, Kwaku Owusu Peprah said oil giant Tullow is also planning to lay off about 140 workers to cut down on operational activities, but that is mainly attributed to the falling oil price on the international market.
Due to the power crisis, most companies have resorted to the use of petrol or diesel, an expensive alternate power source, and that is adversely impacting on their operational costs.
For instance, to keep the radio brands of Multimedia Group in Accra in operation – that is Joy FM, Adom FM, Asempa FM and Hitz FM -, the company between January and March this year spent GHC43, 000 on fuel. It cost the company an additional GHC61, 000 to keep MultiTV running and GHC150, 000 to keep up its transmitters at Ahwerase.
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