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Angry Zoomlion workers declare strike over unpaid allowances


Cleaners and sweepers of the waste management company, Zoomlion Company limited, numbering over 500, from the Tamale south, Tamale North, Tamale Central and Sagnarigu constituencies in the northern region, have declared an indefinite strike over their six months’ allowance arrears.

The angry old and  middle-aged women, some with babies, who stormed  Zaa Radio’s Newsroom on Monday, accused the northern regional management of the company, of subjecting them to all manners of inhuman treatment any time their allowance issue crops up. They warned all women sweeping in the streets to stop doing so with immediate effect until their six months’ arrears are paid to them.

They also warned those they described as ‘hypocrites’ among them to stay away from work or incur their wrath, if they fail to adhere to the warning.

The women take 89 Ghanaian cedis each as monthly allowances but have not be paid for about six months now, in spite  of promises and public announcements by the Zoomlion management that  the allowances will be paid.

The implications of the women’s actions mean that, cholera is likely to raise its ugly head in Tamale. Major streets in the Tamale metropolis will also be strewn with all manner of rubbish and filth and city authority’s intervention to save the situation is necessary now.

Top members of the company’s management whose relatives and wives do nothing and yet receive allowances every month, were accused by the women of making derogatory statements about them such as “you said you want jobs and that is John Mahama for you”, and “you want jobs and we want money”, among others, oblivious to the risks and the harsh weather conditions we work under, another woman alleged.

The women quoted the chairman of Jospong Group of Companies and owner of Zoomlion Company, of making public statements to the effect that he does not owe  workers.

This statement, the women said, meant that the regional management of Zoomlion has diverted their hard earned money into  their personal accounts, causing them to wallow in abject poverty.

“We were supposed to be paid before this year’s Ramadan fasting so that we can also fast with some money but that did not happen”, a frustrated woman narrated.

The women have also accused the regional managers of squandering their Christmas and Sallah gifts such as cloths and rice from the chairman of Zoomlion.

According to the women, managers are less sympathetic to poor women working at Zoomlion because those employed during the late President Atta Mills’ regime were denied goodies for their hard work.

They claimed that in 2012 they were paid 1,500 Ghana cedis each as their end of service benefits but they got only one hundred Ghanaian cedis each.

The women revealed that, it was only through the intervention of Nyankpal’ Lana, who went to Accra last year over their plight, that they were paid  arrears of five hundred each. Since then, they have lodged several complaints to the Northern Regional Co-ordinating Council, during Alhaji Mohammed-Muniru Limuna’s term as northern regional minister and some chiefs’ palaces over the unfair treatment.

Mr Limuna, according to the women, advised them but they did not take his advice, hence their current predicament. “We carried our babies to places as far as Zujung on foot and clean the streets of Tamale at dawn, just to get some money for our children’s education and yet heartless people at the helm of affairs refuse to see it,” a nursing mother lamented.

The over five hundred women working with Zoomlion hinted that, they will not participate in the upcoming elections, if officialdom refuses to come to their aid.

They have also warned political party leaders, especially ruling government officials about the dire consequences of their continued silence on the poor women being cheated and subjected to all manner of inhuman treatment.

When contacted, the Northern Regional Manager of Zoomlion, Emmanuel Volsuuri denied the women’s claims.

He said zoomlion only owe the women three months, April, May and June and not six months the women allege. He added that two months has been processed for payment within this week. He also urged the aggrieved women to channel their concerns to their immediate supervisors for redress.

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