PBC bailout: Government to save 25,000 jobs – Solomon Kotei

In spite of worker agitations about challenges facing the Produce Buying Company (PBC) Limited, the General Secretary of the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei, says the Union is delighted over government’s decision to revamp the company, salvaging between 10,000 and 25,000 jobs.

Speaking to Business Finder, Mr Kotei recalled that a request was made by the ICU to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to bailout the ailing cocoa bean buying company which had been in financial distress for some years. 

The union had petitioned the President and was optimistic that the grievances of the workers and for that matter the company would be resolved. 

He said the status of the once vibrant company, especially in the last three years, compelled the union to take such an action.

“Now, in the last three years it was obvious that the liquidity problem of PBC has come to a point where as I talk to you the current light crop position, PBC has not been able to participate and will not be able to participate.

“Based upon this trend, we were compelled to make a petition to the President and our petition was given a great hearing on Friday,” he said.

He said the President had assured them that measures would be put in place by September this year to ensure the revamping of the company in order to avoid job losses.

The General Secretary urged the workers to adopt positive work attitudes by holding each other accountable in order to cut the volumes of shortages that had characterized and crippled the company in the past years.

“All of us are supposed to become proper vigilantes to take watch over whatever is coming to us to start the main crop. We are not supposed to look on but rather speak out, name, shame and possibly have people chased from their offices,” he stated.

He further assured the workers union of the national union’s readiness to collaborate with them to ensure a restoration of the lost glory of PBC.

PBC limited was incorporated in the year 1999 and listed on the Ghana stock exchange after it was weaned from the Ghana Cocoa Board as part of the liberalisation of the cocoa sector.

Its shareholders are Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) with a total of 38.10 per cent, the Ministry of Finance 36.69 per cent, all on behalf of the government, and the remaining 25.21 per cent by private individuals and institutions.

The government of the day has absolute control of the company through the appointment of seven out of the 11 Board Members. These are the Chairman of the Board, representatives from the Ministry of Finance and executive management.