General News of Monday, 8 October 2012

Source: The Herald

Nestle-Ghana On Fire

The Herald can report that heads have started rolling at the nation’s leading beverage manufacturer, Nestle-Ghana Limited, over the management style of the expatriates and some Ghanaians who have been in-charge of the company over the past two years.

So far, one Luke Niesseron, an expatriate Factory Manager has been relieved of his post and subsequently posted to Saudi Arabia with one Bika Walid, a Lebanese taking over from him this week, with the indication that more changes are expected soon.

Meanwhile, the intense dislike for the management style of the Managing Director, Moataz El Hout, reached its crescendo when a General Meeting (GM) held in collaboration with Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) to discuss salary increment for Junior staff at the Tema factory line almost turned into a fight as management’s insistence on paying only six per cent, was fiercely rejected.

The peaceful meeting later degenerated into a near fisticuffs when management dispatched some of it cronies to convince the leadership of the junior staff who have been agitating over the past nine months for a salary increment, to accept the six percent increment management was forcing on them.

According to the junior staff, they cannot take the six percent increment when the top management members who are members of UNICOF unions have been paid fat salary increment since May, this year.

Present at the meeting, held on Tuesday, September 28, 2012 around 12:30pm, was Mr. Solomon Kotey, ICU General Secretary in-charge of Administration, Mr. Anangah of Tema ICU, Mr. Atiapah and Mr. Ernest Mensah, Deputy Human Resource Manager of Nestle-Tema.

Also present was a Deputy Human Resource Manager (HRM) of Nestle at the Central Distribution, Miss Wilhelmina Borketey to discuss pay rise for the junior staff, which has been in limbo since February this year, forcing the workers to go public on the issue.

The Herald has gathered that the meeting which started on a cordial note due to the presence of the ICU leadership later got heated up when the management, through the Deputy HRM proposed that they could only pay six per cent increment.

This, according to The Herald’s sources, did not go down well with the leadership of the junior staff, who resulted to some murmuring amidst the shouting of no! no! no! to the surprise of the ICU officials in the meeting.

The murmuring continued till the meeting was brought to an abrupt end by the leadership of the ICU to avoid the situation from degenerating into something else, The Herald learnt.

Shortly, thereafter, some cronies of management burst onto the scene in an attempt to convince the leadership of the junior staff to accept the offer being made by management. This almost led to a serious pandemonium after some hot verbal exchanges.

The meeting, therefore, was inconclusive and it is unclear when the next meeting would be called for hungry and angry workers to once again wear a smile. Nestle are the producers of Nido, Milo, Nescafe, Carnation Milk, Ideal Milk and Nescafe among others.

Meanwhile, The Herald is informed that the mother company of Nestle based in Switzerland is keenly watching developments in their Ghanaian branch.