The Northern Regional Furniture and Upholstery Workers Association has appealed to government to call the Ash Foam Ltd and Latex Foam Ltd to order over its incessant increase of prices of cushion. The association threatened to embark on a massive demonstration if its two-week ultimatum elapses without any positive response to its request.
Reading a press statement to journalists in Tamale on Monday, Mr. Abdallah Alhassan Samari, secretary of the association, tasked the government and the ministry of Trade and Industry to establish more cushion companies because Latex Foam and Ash Foam enjoy a monopoly and to add insult to injury, have now ventured into furniture production.
As a direct consequence of this move, members of the association have lost customers to Latex Foam and Ash Foam. Mr Samari stated that since November 2017, these two cushion producers have been increasing prices exorbitantly. He cited an instance when a five-inch high density cushion which was sold at 24 cedis now sells at 41 cedis, an increase of about 71% between last year and now .
The secretary added that the furniture and upholstery association in the northern region has been in existence for the past twenty years, becoming a source of employment for the youth and can boast of over two thousand (2,000) apprentices.
He categorically stated that had it not been for these jobs, most of the youth would have ended up becoming armed robbers because the "devil finds work for idle hands." The association therefore urged government to intervene in stabilizing the prices of the latex foam and ash foam products.
Mr Samari disclosed that his members were simply following in the footsteps of upholstery workers in Kumasi who had earlier complained bitterly about the two foam companies. They thus wrote to the management of both Ash Foam and Latex Foam who promised to come to the region and explain the rationale behind the increase, but never showed up.
By Fuseini Dawuda Neindow