Employment Minister visits Marwako; orders ‘intensive’ labour audit of company

The Employment Minister has ordered a comprehensive audit into the labour history of Markwako Fast Food whose supervisor is being investigated for an alleged assault of a female worker.

Ignatius Baffour Awuah gave this directive to the Ministry’s Labour Department after he visited the company to interact with some of the workers.

Speaking to Dzifa Bampoh on Joy FM’s Newsnite programme Tuesday, he said although the police have initiated investigations into the matter, the ministry is also interested in knowing the truth about the incident.

Alleged victim, Evelyn Boakye

“We are asking our labour department to do a labour audit for us to see…I have given them one week within which to get the report to us,” he said.

Jihad Chaaban, 26, who is a brother-in-law of the owner of Marwako Restaurant in Accra was arrested by the police following claims that he had dipped the face of a worker, Evelyn Boakye, into a pepper sauce for working slowly on February, 26.

He is reported to have sustained the alleged victim’s face in the pepper sauce for more than 10 minutes while he squeezed her neck, a colleague has said.

Abelenkpe branch of Marwako Fast Food where the incident took place

Mr Chaaban was arrested and granted police inquiry bail pending conclusion on investigation. He was supposed to have been arraigned Tuesday, but that did not take place.

The issue has sparked heated controversy about treatment of Ghanaian workers by their expatriate bosses. Social media has been awash with outrage with sections of Ghanaians calling for a boycott of the restaurant.

Some human rights activists are also spearheading an online petition collecting signatories that is calling on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to clamp down on foreign nationals who abuse Ghanaian employees.

Gender Minister, Afisa Otiko Djaba

Gender Minister, Afisa Otiko Djaba has assured the nation justice will be served  the 25-year-old Ghanaian waitress who is said to have suffered the assault.

“Justice will surely come to play,” she said.

Mr Baffour Awuah said some action has been taken by the Ministry to address the issue, adding the owner of the restaurant has condemned the action of the supervisor and promised to support with investigation.

He said the Employment Ministry would be investigating the labour history of the other companies in the country because the Marwako incident might not be an “isolated issue.”

“It is possible that it may happen in Ghanaian companies [and] as part of the work they [labour department] will conduct labour audit into that,” he said.