PMMC Workers picket over alleged procurement irregularities, working conditions

By
Julius K. Satsi, GNA

Accra, Oct. 4, GNA – The workers of the
Precious Minerals Marketing Company Limited (PMMC), on Thursday picketed at the
company’s premises over alleged breach of procurement procedures by management
and poor conditions of work for staff.

At the premises of PMMC, Madam Agnes Ayitey,
the Branch Secretary of the Ghana Mines Workers Union, who addressed the media,
outlined a number of grievances, including the allegation of frequent meetings
of the Board.

She said this year alone, the Board had met 26
times and increased the sitting allowances without approval from the Ministry
of Finance.

She said the Board had allegedly increased its
allowance to 726 per cent, while they had increased that of the staff by only
12 per cent.

She said Mr Opare Hammond, the Managing
Director (MD), had also allegedly breached the procurement process by
purchasing an Acid scanning Machine worth GH¢600,000.00, which is fixed at the
Kotoka International Airport.

Madam Ayitey said the procurement law demanded
that any purchase beyond GH¢100,000.00 should be acquired through a constituted
committee.

She accused the Board for allegedly moving to
stop the health insurance that staff members had been enjoying.

She said the MD had allegedly employed staff
without following the laid down administrative procedure, leading to a number
of employees not known to the former employees and engaged in handpicking staff
for promotion, adding that 15 new staff had been added.

She said the MD allegedly slapped the Internal
Auditor of the Company and later sacked him from office rendering him currently
unemployed.

She called on the President Nana Addo Dankwah
Akufo-Addo to intervene in the situation to rescue the staff from the suffering
and as a matter of urgency, remove the MD and all management team.

Mr Kwarko Mensah Gyakari, the National
Chairman of the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) of Trade Union Congress (TUC),
Ghana received the petition of the branch union on behalf of the Union and
assured the members of the leadership support.

In solidarity to the branch union, Mr Prince
William Ankrah, General Secretary of the GMWU, said the Union has written to Mr
Hammond and October 9 was set for a meeting with Him and his lawyers.

He said the Union received a reply from the Mr
Hammond’s Lawyers which surprised leadership because they had wanted to meet
him on friendly terms to resolve the various allegations.

In a sharp turn, he said Mr Hammond had agreed
to meet the executives of GMWU to deliberate on the allegations and see the way
forward on Thursday October 4 in the afternoon instead of October 9 upon
hearing the news of the picketing.

Mr Ankrah said the Union would want to get the
side of Mr Hammond before making any recommendations but added that if all
allegations were found to be true, the law would have to take its course.

However, in an interview with the Ghana News
Agency, Mr Hammond denied all the allegations by the branch Union, saying they
were false and did not merit discussions.

“I have no idea, I have very cordial
relationship with my staff and the Union,” adding that everything had been
moving on smoothly.

He said he was surprised by the concerns
because “they have not written a petition, nobody has expressed any grievances
to me or to my Board over anything”.

He said he was poised to meet the leadership
of GMWU to discuss the concerns raised by the staff in order to calm the
situation.

On the allegations of the Acid Scanning
Machine purchase, he said the Entity Tender Committee approved the purchase,
adding that, the Board would issue a statement at the appropriate time to
address the facts of the matter in its entirety.

GNA 

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