Cocoa carriers have called off their strike Tuesday after meeting with the licensed buying companies and the Management of COCOBOD.
The cocoa carriers embarked on a sit-down strike on January 5 to demand better conditions of service. An agreement has been reached for an increase in their daily wage.
For the haulage of one bag of cocoa, 62 pesewas is paid to a carrier. Two days after the sit-down strike, 20 pesewas were added to the 62 pesewas, but this was rejected by the carriers.
However, after a series of meetings with the Management, the cocoa carriers have decided to accept the daily 82 pesewas wage.
“A meeting was held here in Kumasi. All cocoa carriers in Tema, Takoradi and Kumasi have decided to call off the strike. We are not satisfied with the outcome though. We have carefully considered the losses and harms our strike may cause. COCOBOD has assured us that we will be paid 82 pesewas. But we will not relax till our wage is moved to 1 cedi,” Raymond Atanga, Chairman of the Cocoa Carriers Association said.
The cocoa carriers were worried about the hazardous nature of their work. A number of them exposed to chemicals have been reported ill. Others injure themselves due to the vigorous nature of the work.
“I have to carry 64 kilo bags the whole day. We pick the bags from the truck, send it to the lab, then stack it up at the warehouse. We go to the house tired, yet we are given so little,” he cried.
Another lamented “Even soldiers cannot do this kind of work. The cocoa contains chemicals, it gives us rashes. Last year, we lost 10 of our colleagues. Currently, some of my colleagues are disabled and injured,”
Mr. Atanga said the government has assured the Association of their safety henceforth.
“Our pension contributions, insurance and health concerns have been noted by Management. They have promised to see to our health concerns, because our work is tedious,” he said.
Some of the carriers have expressed dissatisfaction with the daily wage.
“One thing the strike has taught us is to never rely on the government. I entreat my colleague carriers to have a side hustle,” he advised.
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