Hundreds of workers of beleaguered Trasacco Estate Development Company Limited (TEDC), Thursday demonstrated over the decision by Management of the Company to lay them off without any benefit after working continuously for years – ranging from 1 to 13 years.
What has provoked the angry workers more has been the mantra from management that “we do not have casual workers, we do not know them”.
The decision seems to have breached Section 12 subsection (2) and Section 78 of the Labour Act 2003, (Act 651).
The protestors who are predominantly casual workers were clad in red attires and chanted war songs at the forecourt of the company in readiness to clash with management as they were sacked by word of mouth.
One affected person who narrated his story to Atinkaonline.com noted, “I started working with Trasacco 8years ago as a casual worker”.
As if that was not enough, Trasacco, a trailblazer in building construction gave out letters to over a hundred more workers by suspending them for three months as a temporary layoff.
These workers are on "permanent and contract basis". The letter was signed by the Managing Director of Company, Ian David Morris, and noted that for the three months, the company will not pay salaries or any other entitlements due.
The letters which were effective August 31, 2018 and September 20, 2018 were given to two separate batches bearing the titles “3 Months Temporary Suspension” and “3 Months Leave Without Pay” respectively.
However, upon several agitations, a decision was agreed between management and their Union on August 20th that the employers will pay 25% and 60% of their salaries and annual leave due them respectively for the first month. Each of the remaining two months will attract same 25%.
Convener of the demonstration, Emmanuel Laryea together with his colleagues rejected the deal and demanded full payment of salaries for the three months.
Meanwhile, in an interview with Atinkaonline, General Manager (HR/ADMIN.), James D. Chinery, said their action is due to the company’s weak financial standing leading to the closure of sites at Villagio, Opeabea and Adjei Kojo amongst others.
According to him, a similar thing happened in 2009 where the workers came back after three months and were given 30% of their salaries. “However, this is not the case this time around” he noted.
Also, Director of Finance and Administration, Deepak Kumar Das, quizzed about the development, responded that they did not err in sending some workers home since it is a normal practice in the construction sector.
“Temporary workers were asked to go on vacation for two months. This is purely due to market conditions, economic conditions and scaling down our operations which is very prominent in any construction industry. It is not new, it happens in prime or major construction companies. If you don’t have revenue, you don’t expect that workers come to work and get paid.”
Ghana|Atinkaonline.com |Patrick Ofoe Nudzi