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'Ghanaian Times Workers Did Not Follow Due Process'

The Managing Director of the New Times Corporation publisher of the Ghanaian Times and Spectator newspapers says protesting workers must resort to laid down procedures in communicating their grievances.

According to Carol Annang, it is important that the company does not wash its dirty linen in public “because when we have not been able to exhaust the processes it is a bit inopportune to put them out there to the public.”

She told Emefa Apawu on Joy FM's Newsnite programme that she has been in meetings out of the office all day because the protesting workers prevented her from entering her office in the morning.

The staff on Monday locked out their Managing Director, Carol Annang, demanding her immediate removal from the company.

They also accused management of failing to pay their provident fund for more than five years.

Chairman of the workers union, Diana Busoh told Joy News’ Emefa Dzradosi in an interview that they will no longer allow the inefficiencies to continue.

“All promises from management has been empty for years now and so at this moment, we see it necessary to come out. We have been quiet for a long time and it is the time for us to let the whole country and the world to know that things are not working well at New Times Corporation,” she said.

The workers who have the backing of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) have threatened to lock Madam Annang out of her office on Tuesday.

Related: ICU backs Times staff protest against MD
But the Managing Director says she is not worried about the right of workers to hold a grievance. What is worried about is the procedure thay have chosen to communicate the grievance.

“Nobody has a problem with anybody who has a grievance to air. But in every institution, you have procedures and processes for addressing issues and all we ask is that let us use the laid procedures and processes,” she said.

According to her, there have not been any formal communication regarding the workers’ grievances by the staff.

Regarding the allegations of outsourcing the printing of the newly designed Ghanaian Times newspaper to Graphic Communication Group, she said the Board has released a self-explanatory statement to that effect.

“I don’t think that is the issue at stake, there is a laid down channel for the workers to use to address the issue…I don’t want to add or put so much information out there and try to resolve our problems on the radio,” she reiterated.

Madam Annang said she only joined in January 2015 and she is not aware of the concerns regarding the non-payment of the workers’ contributions to the provident fund.

She advised that care must be taken by the parties in a stalemate so that their actions and utterances do not hurt the corporation.

She disclosed that the Board has already met twice on Monday on ways to resolve the ongoing stalemate.

However, General Secretary of the ICU, Solomon Kotei said the development at the Corporation is not as result of a breakdown in negotiations.

“The allegations the workers have raised boils down on mistrust, mismanagement and the like. The responsible thing to do is to calm them down and get them back to work, which fortunately we have down,” he said.

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