Address racial discrimination allegations – ICU to Mövenpick Hotel

The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), a member of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), wants the management of Mövenpick to quickly tackle allegations by their Ghanaian employees of racial discrimination.

Some services at the plush hotel in Accra were suspended after about 100 workers laid down their tools and converged at the hotel’s foyer to protest Wednesday.

Clad in strips of red cloth, the usual sign of agitating workers in Ghana, the Movenpick staff carried placards with inscriptions including; “Nadja must go”, “Ghana is our motherland”, “GM must go” and “Equal rights”, amidst drumming.

Wednesday’s protest was the second in six days after a similar action last Friday.

Staff accuse the hotel’s management of shielding an expatriate employee who allegedly breached the hotel’s code of ethics, but when local employees commit a similar offence they are dismissed immediately.

The leadership of ICU, which works to protect the interest of Ghanaian workers, said the five-star hotel must urgently address the challenges by subjecting expatriate workers to the same punitive measures as the Ghanaian workers.

Deputy General Secretary in charge of Operations at ICU, Morgan Ayawine, said Wednesday that it was incomprehensible that the management claims it had referred a report on the offence committed by the expatriate to its lawyers to give advice and when Ghanaian workers are found to have committed similar offences, they are outrightly dismissed and reported to the police.

“We are against the fact that the first report will be referred for legal advice because it has never happened. There have been several investigations on this type of offences but no such demand or requirement has been made. Is it because the person involved happens to be a manager? So because the person is a manager, we refer the outcome of the investigation to legal advice but if it is the ordinary worker, they deal with it directly without referring to their lawyers,” Accra-based Citi FM quoted him on its news portal as saying.

Mr Ayawine said the ICU has sighted a copy of the report which recommended the dismissal of local staff that breached the hotel’s code of ethics, but added that “management is trying to conceal that report because they said it is a confidential document”.

He said the ICU was still considering its options in the event that the recommendations of the report were not implemented by 1 pm Thursday.

Other members of the ICU who mediated the impasse with Mr Ayawine included Emmanuel Benimah, the Secretary-General for Administration of the ICU and Madam Marku Vondee, the Chief Industrial Relations Officer of the ICU.

Meanwhile, there is uneasy calm at the hotel as agitating staff return to their duty posts on Thursday.

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