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Date: 11th May 2022

Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) has organised a training seminar on industrial relations for leaders of its senior and junior staff.

The training was organised to equip the staff leaders with the skills to provide good leadership and manage relations between management and the staff they represent, said Mr Randolph Adei, the Director of Human Resources at COCOBOD.

“You are tainted to fit into the role that you are in at present and, periodically, because we are in a dynamic world, you are trained to keep pace with time”, he noted.

“As leaders of both the Senior Staff Association and the Junior Staff Union, you have some constituencies under you and there is the need for you to have certain skills and certain abilities to stir your people successfully. With that knowledge, I think the whole system will benefit,” he asserted.

The resource person for the training seminar, Mr Joseph Kingsley Amoah, who is the Director of Industrial Relations, at the Ghana Employers Association (GEA), took the participants through the history of labour unionism in Ghana.

There were also lessons on the laws which govern the creation and management of labour unions in Ghana; best practices in negotiation, conflict resolution, and ensuring discipline, among others.

Speaking in an interview at the end of the seminar, Mr Amoah said, the training is designed to ground the newly elected staff leaders in the essentials of industrial relations.

“Ultimately, the objective is to equip them very well, so that, they understand the industrial relations terrain; they know their do’s and don’ts; they know and understand the legislation covering employment in the country; they understand the very functions which they were elected to undertake, so that, they can do their work well”, he emphasised.

Mr Amoah said one of the biggest challenges with workers’ unions and associations in Ghana is misunderstanding and mismatched priorities. This is where workers have different aspirations and employers have different interests.

“When these interests and aspirations are not synchronized, we will have challenges. At least, once we are all working at the same place and want our personal development, we should also think about the stability and viability of the enterprise. Once we are able to align all these things, it helps us grow together,” he noted.

Mr Amoah advised workers leaders to be agents of discipline at their workplaces by educating their union members on the rules of their organizations and the need to observe them. 

Workers leaders, he added, must insist on workers going to work on time, help eliminate waste, eschew undesirable behaviour, and foster cordial relations between workers and management.

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