DCGL Casual Workers On Strike

A two-day sit down strike by casual workers of Diamond Cement Ghana Limited (DCGL) at Aflao has brought operations of the plant to a halt. The agitating workers closed the factory’s main gate preventing vehicles from entering and leaving, including those carrying security personnel called in to maintain order. A large fleet of articulated trucks, which arrived to cart cement was lined up along the main road to the factory. The about 600 striking casual workers on Monday morning forced about 200 permanent Ghanaian workers from their offices to join them. The Indian expatriate management staff was holed up in a closed door meeting. Mr. Kofi Dzogbeti, a casual worker, said the workers lacked safety clothing, health care facilities and had to work on Sundays and holidays with low wages ranging between 11 Ghana Cedis and 25 Ghana cedis per week without Social Security. He called for the removal of the contractors who engaged them because they were taking undue advantage of them. Mr. Albert Nuglozah, acting Chairman of DCGL local branch of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), said his outfit was negotiation with DCGL for improved conditions, which would benefit the casual workers. He said negotiations needed to be fast tracked to iron out the concerns of the workers. Mr. Stone Dominic, Director of Stone and Stephen Limited, one of the contracting firms supervising the casual workers, said the workers received between 35 Ghana Cedis and 51 Ghana Cedis per week but noted that safety wear situation was poor and the wages could also be enhanced. He said 25 per cent of whatever weekly payment his outfit received from DCGL went into the payment of workers social security, payment for supervisors and cleaners while 75 per cent went into wages of the casual workers. Mr. Dominic said the industrial action was a surprise because the casual workers did not demand improved conditions. Togbe Amenya Fiti V, Paramount Chief of Aflao, appealed to the workers to exercise restraint and seek legitimate means to address their grievances to safeguard the company and their livelihood.