A claim by management of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) that it has not scrapped the payment of bonuses to staff, is being challenged.
The workers are agitated by the insistence of management that, it has not scrapped bonuses two years, since the Akufo-Addo led government assumed office.
The workers, who spoke to The Herald, said although management led by Joseph Boahen Aidoo, has not officially announced the scrapping of bonuses; they have not been paid for a period of time
The rebuttal came barely a day after management issued a statement debunking media reports that COCOBOD, has scrapped payment of bonuses.
The management had in a statement issued to debunk what it describes as “Spurious allegations against Hon. Hackman Owusu-Agyemang Board Chairman of COCOBOD” said it has not taken a decision to scrap bonuses, adding that no one under the current leadership of COCOBOD has any intention to do such.
“ On the subject of staff bonuses, it must be made clear that the current Board of COCOBOD has not taken a decision to scrap the bonus system for the staff of COCOBOD as have been alleged and no one, not the Board Chairman or any other person, is championing having the payment of bonuses ceased”.
For some time now, there have been reports of Mr Owusu-Agyemang usurping the powers of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Joseph Boahen Aidoo and describing him as the brain behind the decision not to give workers some incentive packages, including end-of-year bonuses.
But the statement insists “We wish to put on record that the Board of Directors of COCOBOD is made up of very reputable persons and one person cannot take decisions in the name of the Board. The Board Chairman and his colleagues have a cordial relationship. He is not authoritarian”.
According to the workers, all attempts, including registration of protest, especially during last year’s May Day celebration, have fallen on death ears.
One angry worker, who described management statement as “media gimmicks” said “this is a kind of damage control”.
The staff continued that “It has not been scrapped; however, workers have been denied bonuses since they assumed government”.
On Monday, COCOBOD, rebutted an online report to the effect that Board Chairman, received payment of per diem for a trip he never embarked upon. It was in that statement that management addressed the issue of bonuses.
But in the statement, COCOBOD vehemently denied the said report saying that even though Mr. Owusu-Agyemang was slated to attend a programme on Corporate Governance and Leadership abroad, he did not attend because he was unwell.
The statement went further to state that even though the said per diem was paid to him ahead of the trip, he “…, returned full sum of money issued to him as per diem to the Solicitor Secretary from whom he received the money in the first place”.
The statement also cleared the Board Chairman of any wrongdoing with respect to the allocation of an office space and his involvement in a contract exceeding a margin of GHc60, 000.
“We are very much appalled by what seems to be a clear effort of some people dedicated to attacking the person of Hon Hackman Owusu-Agyemang and tarnishing his image by badgering him with false allegations and fake news, week in, week out. It is at the very least very unfortunate and must stop”.