Aggrieved old staff of Kasapa Telecom Limited are pursuing Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong, the Chairman of the Jospong Group of Companies including Zoomlion Ghana, for their 50 month unpaid salaries since they posit he is the new owner of the telecommunication company even though he has denied ownership of the entity.
The aggrieved workers have petitioned the National Labour Commission (NLC) over the matter which is yet to be fully determined by the Commission.
The petition which was sent by the local union of the Communications Workers Union of Kasapa Telecom Limited and signed by the General Secretary, Edward Anani and Assistant Organizer, Mrs. Hildegard Ferguson-Krakue indicated among others that, there has been a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and Law by Kasapa Telecom Limited as well as engage in abusive behavior against the employees.
According to them, “the employees have not been paid the specified salaries for over 50 months, since 2014; the company has not made its legally-required contributions to SSNIT; the employees have not had access to medical care; other benefits set forth in the Collective Bargaining Agreement have been ignored.”
They have therefore requested the Commission to conduct a detailed inquiry into the Company’s behavior to determine who is responsible to settle the salary arrears of the staff whose plight keeps on degenerating by the day and hold them accountable.
The old staff have had cause to believe that, Dr. Joseph Siaw-Agyepong has been the new owner of Kasapa Telecom since 2014, who hired a consultant by name Viraj Bhat and Lt Col (rtd) Larry Gbevlo-Lartey to manage the telecommunication company on his behalf until his appointment at the African Union.
To buttress their point, they have cited a murky relationship about the involvement of companies owned by Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyapong under the JOSPONG Group in the running the activities of Kasapa Telecom including the payment of salaries by a consultant appointed by the Jospong Group; supply of fuel and servicing of company Gensets and vehicles by J A Plant Pool; rendering of security services by United Creative Solutions (UCS); utilization of Zoom Alliance Warehouse as a storage facility among others.
However, in an answer to a letter served on a subsidiary of the JOSPONG Group, Zoomlion from the National Labour Commission in the matter between Local Union-Kasapa Telecom Limited versus Kasapa Telecom Limited, the management of the company wrote back to the Commission to indicate that they have been wrongly served.
This dashed the hopes of the old staff of Kasapa Telecom Limited who had gathered at the National Labour Commission on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 to hear the outcome of their petition which was scheduled for the day.
Some workers at the National Labour Commission office
Speaking to the media shortly after receiving the response from the NLC, the Assistant Organizer of the Local Communication Workers Union, Mrs. Hildegard Ferguson-Krakue, expressed their disappointment about denial of ownership of Kasapa Telecom by Dr. Siaw Agyapong and refusal to assume responsibility for the settlement of the salary arrears of the staff they claim have fallen on hard times and are losing their lives due to lack of proper maintenance of their lives and those of their close relatives.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com
Bellow is the full statement issued by the Local Communication Workers Union of Kasapa Telecom Limited.
Hildegard Ferguson-Krakue (Mrs.)
For and on behalf of the Kasapa Local Union
WORKERS OF KASAPA TELECOM LTD DYING -50 MONTHS OF UNPAID SALARIES AND BENEFITS.
In 2009, Hutchison Telecom of Hong Kong, former owners of Kasapa Telecom sold it to Expresso Telecom, a subsidiary of Sudatel Ltd of Sudan. Expresso retained the old management headed by Robert Norris Palitz to run the company until 2010 when a new management was brought in.
Under the new management, not much was achieved owing to the US sanctions on Sudan. Most companies were warned from doing business with Kasapa including Standard Chartered Bank, our major bankers among others, hence the beginning of Kasapa’s deterioration. During this period JOSPONG Group of companies headed by Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong expressed interest. Negotiations then begun but was stalled because SUBAH Info Solutions owned by Dr. Joseph Siaw Agyepong, which had won the Telecom Revenue Assurance Audit Contract with the NCA sparked some conflict of interest with Ghanaians.
Notwithstanding, the negotiations was resumed and concluded with JOSPPONG Group becoming 100% owners of Kasapa Telecom. Dr. Siaw Agyepong continued to deny his ownership of Kasapa Telecom Ltd to the extent of coming on air to deceive Ghanaians.
It is sad to note that such a religious man, an elder of a Christian denomination and a renowned businessman could be a deceit and lie to Ghanaians and the business community of his involvement with Kasapa Telecom Ltd, when in fact he contracted the former boss of the National Security Rtd. Colonel Larry Gbevlo-Lartey to manage Kasapa Telecom with an Indian Consultant from SUBAH Info Solutions by name Viraj Bhat. Viraj Bhat’s inexperience grounded Kasapa Telecom completely.
Mr. Viraj Bhat was in charge of operations;
1. Payment of salaries was by the Consultant of the Jospong Group of Companies
2. Supply of fuel to Gensets and company vehicles was by J A Plant Pool, also a subsidiary of the Jospong Group,
3. UCS Security which rendered to the company is Jospong Group owned
4. Storage of certain company assets were stored at a warehouse at Medie, also owned by the Jospong Group,
5. Dr Joseph Siaw Agyepong prevented the Expresso Telecom Group from effecting a name change at the RGD to frustrate any conflict of interest accusation by the NCA who still recoqnize the Expresso Telecom Group as the legitimate owners of Kasapa Telecom Limited. All these were done to protect Subah Info-Solutions Limited, a company also owned by Dr J. Siaw Agyepong, from losing its Telecom Revenue Assurance Audit contract with the NCA.
We believe that further investigation with the Ghana Immigration Service will reveal which company applied for a visa permit for Viraj Bhat to work in Ghana.
A limited liability company registered in Mauritius by name Level 10 purchased Kasapa Telecom Ltd. Payment for the sale was from Ghana.
As at now our Landlord for our Abelenkpe, the head office had demanded to throw out our equipment and other company assets out. The lawyer for Dr. J. S Agyepong, Madam Gloria Benneh is negotiating with the landlord’s lawyer regarding outstanding rent.
The company’s assets being evacuated to a warehouse in Tema, near the Free Zone enclave is led by Mr. Michael Wornu, who doubles as head of the security company owned by JOSPONG Group of Companies. Workers assisting with the evacuation are from UCS and SUBAH Info Solutions.
Workers are dying, staff have had to move to their villages, ejected from their homes. Life is so unbearable for us.
We, the employees, are suffering beyond belief. Everyone who could be held responsible for the situation has scattered in the wind. We therefore respectfully request that the Commission, under the powers granted pursuant to the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) as well as other relevant legislative instruments and regulations, expeditiously commence an investigation and inquiry into this situation, with an end to determining who is responsible and to hold them accountable, regardless of their purported current status in respect of the Company.
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