The former Managing Director and Finance and Administrative Director of Metso Minerals Ghana Limited, have brought a case of contempt at Tema High Court against their former employer.
The court presided over by Justice Mrs Cecilia Don-Chebe Agbevey, ordered Metso Ghana Limited, a subsidiary of Metso Corporation of Finland, not to take any action against the plaintiffs pending the determination of the suit they have filed.
In spite of the court order, the Human Resource Director of the mother company in South Africa, Victor Mohlate and the Vice-President Finance, Colin Heywood, went ahead to terminate the appointments.
The plaintiffs, on May 2, 2014, filed a writ at the High Court praying for a declaration that a purported enquiry and hearing, which was conducted by the company on April 29, 2014, was in breach of rules of natural justice and therefore of no legal effect.
They prayed the court for an order of injunction restraining the defendants and its representatives from terminating their employment.
A statement of claim accompanying the writ said the first plaintiff, Mr Patrick Ofei was the Director of Finance and Administration and the second plaintiff, Mr Seth Quaye was the Managing Director.
According to the statement of claim, sometime in late February, 2014, Heywood came to Ghana and made some enquiries on the internal operations of the company on the basis of alleged complaints received against the plaintiffs.
It stated that subsequently in March 2014 the defendants instituted an internal audit and also appointed PriceWaterhouseCoopers to conduct investigations into the defendant’s internal operations.
According to the statement of claim, the first plaintiff stated that he remained at post while the said investigations were carried out, but the second plaintiff was asked to stay away from work as the inquiries were underway.
It said on April 25, 2014 the plaintiffs were invited by Heywood for a meeting on April 29, 2014 and asked to respond to some findings made by the audits carried out.
The statement said the plaintiffs were not given copies of the full audit report for them to know the full details of the allegations made against them and the investigations carried out.
It said before the enquiry was to be carried out, Heywood and Mholate told the plaintiffs that they would be summarily dismissed so they had the option of either resigning or going through the enquiry after, which they would be dismissed all the same.
The statement said the plaintiffs objected to the procedure and enquiry as the defendants representatives had arrived at a conclusion even before the meeting.
It averred that the first plaintiff met with the representatives’ and refuted the issues raised and was told again that he had the option of resigning or being summarily dismissed.
According to the statement, the second plaintiff said the representatives indicated to him that they would revert to him after he met with them.
It said the plaintiffs stated that the allegations made against them were without substance and refuted it accordingly.
The statement said the plaintiffs asserted that the defendants’ actions were in breach of natural justice.
It said the plaintiffs felt cheated and embarrassed by the sudden turn of events since they had discharged their duties diligently over the period.
The statement said the defendants are seeking for a declaration that the purported enquiry/hearing of April 29, 2014 was unfair and unjust.
Metso is a leading process performance provider with customers in the mining, oil and gas and aggregates industries.
In 2013, Metso's net sales totaled 3.8 billion Euros. Metso employs approximately 16,000 industry experts in 50 countries
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