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Business News of Friday, 11 May 2018


Textile workers threaten to picket Jubilee House

Angry textile workers are threatening to picket the Presidency as they are provoked by government’s reaction and failure to address their concerns which resulted in a recent demonstration.

Hundreds of the distressed workers hit the streets of Accra in April to demand an extension by government of the mandate of the anti-pirated textile taskforce to enable it move from the borders to the markets to clamp down on pirated textiles.

This, they said, will pave way for the seizure and destruction of pirated wax-prints in compliance with regulations of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Deputy Trade Minister Carlos Ahenkorah has reportedly indicated that government cannot grant the request of the textile workers to destroy pirated wax prints due to the huge amounts invested by the traders.

But the textile workers who have re-petitioned the Ministry do not agree with the Deputy Minister.

Spokesperson for the Coalition of Textile Workers, John Abeka, told journalists in Accra that government is flouting international trade regulations.

“We heard the Minister saying these are people who are using their monies and so he considers the fact that their monies are going to be burnt once we seize the pirated wax prints and burn them. Why would you condone something that is wrong? If it’s wrong it’s wrong.

“These are smugglers and so we don’t have to accept the fact that because they are crying we have to listen to them. Then let us go and listen to the people importing Indian hemp, Tramadol and cocaine because they are also doing business. If the Minister is saying the women are complaining their products and money get missing during the raid by the taskforce is he saying the Police, military men or custom officers are thieves? Such statements should not come from him,” he said.

Mr Ahenkorah has also indicated that government will release funds to the ailing textile companies as a stimulus package to revive them. But Mr Abeka said the stimulus package will not make any impact on the operations of the textile companies if government does not rid the market of pirated wax prints.

“We don’t need stimulus packages. That is not the priority for us at the moment because if the smuggling of pirated textiles does not stop the stimulus package cannot help the ailing textile companies. They must listen to us. Because if they don’t we will hit the streets again and this time around it will be at the Jubilee House”, he said.

The textile workers have given government one month to allow the anti-pirated textile taskforce to seize and destroy pirated wax prints or they picket at the Presidency.