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General News of Wednesday, 27 January 1999

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ATL management and workers reach consensus

Koforidua (Eastern Region) 27 Jan.'99

The local union and the management of the Akosombo Textiles Limited (ATL) have reached a consensus for a 25 per cent increase in salaries across the board with effect from November one, 1998. The increase is in addition to the annual two per cent increase in salaries, which the workers are to enjoy this month. This was announced by Ms Patience Adow, Eastern Regional Minister, who led a four-member team to mediate in the stalemate in the "wage- opener negotiations" between the company and the local union at Koforidua on Monday. Other members of the negotiating team included the Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Mr Kwame Dwamena Aboagye, Member of Parliament for Asuogyaman and Mr. Emmanuel Bekoe, District Chief Executive for Asuogyaman, with Mr. J. A. Sago, Eastern Regional Labour Officer, as an observer. Ms Adow expressed her appreciation to both the management and the local union of the Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union (TEGLU) for their co-operation in the negotiations. She appealed to the management of the company to hold frequent durbars to inform the workers on the performance of the company to help curb the frequent labour unrest. Mr. S. C. Woo, General Manager of the company, thanked the Regional Co-ordinating Council for their mediation efforts that led to the resolution of the stalemate between the management and the local union in the wage negotiations. He said in view of the violent nature of the demonstration which the salary negotiations brought about at the factory in Akosombo last week, management would like law and order to be restored in the factory's premises. Mr. Woo therefore, appealed to the Eastern Regional Minister to help establish a fact-finding committee to identify the real cause of the demonstrations and those behind it to prevent a recurrence. Mr. Abraham Komson, general secretary of TEGLU, said the union accepts the consensus reached at the meeting and would abide by it to ensure early re-opening of the factory to enable the workers to resume working. It would be recalled that, due to the deadlock in salary negotiations between the management of ATL and the local union, workers of the company last Thursday organised a demonstration at the factory premises to pressurise management of the company to accept a 45 per cent increase in salaries proposed by the local union. It took the intervention of the Eastern Regional Security Council to get the workers to restore electricity supply to the factory before leaving the factory. As a result of the demonstrations, the management closed down the factory. However, at the end of the negotiations, the management refused to answer questions from the press on the date for the re-opening of the factory.