The management and union of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Company Limited have signed a Collective Bargaining Agreement after 12 years of unsuccessful attempts.
The Board of BOST and the Union reached an agreement which has been codified into legal binding document which would be reviewed every two years to capture development in the labour front to ensure conducive working environment.
The BOST Collective Bargaining Agreement was signed by Mr. Ekow Hackman, Board Chairman; Mr. George Mensah Okley, Managing Director on behalf of Board and Management and Mr Abdul Jalil Kwanda, Union Chairman, which was witness by officials from Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU).
Mr Okley told the Ghana News Agency after the signing ceremony that the collective bargaining agreement between BOST and that of the Union has been codified into legal binding document, “I am hopeful that this document will stand the test of time.
“The Board, Management and the Union have exhibited good faith during the process of developing the roadmap for the collective bargaining agreement. We are all committed to work for the interest of the nation.
“I am particularly committed to the welfare of workers and will ensure that we all play our respective roles to ensure that we adhere to the tenets of this document. Our collective efforts would yield to collective prospects”.
Mr Okley noted that “for the first time in 12 years, there is now a staff welfare contract between BOST and its workers. We must continue to build bridges between Board, Management and Staffs, we are in this ship called BOST together, there might be turbulent waters, bad weather, misunderstanding and other reprehensible acts, in all we should not lose sight we are each other’s keeper and together we shall succeed.
“We must also not forget about the good times, and development process, prudent efforts being put in place by most workers, whom I will describe as hard workers as well as the effort of Board and Management”.
He said “even though this document has been signed which is binding for the next two years, I will be happy to review it in the course of the two years if the need arises”.
Mr Okley assured the workers that, he will continue to keep an open-door policy, “let us work together as a team and not we against them. Let us also reduce the tendency of rumour peddling, as it will end up destroying our collective brand image and efforts”.
Mr. Hackman praised the staff for being loyal to the company, entreating them not to shy away from bringing their concerns to the Board when necessary.
He stressed that “no company is worth dying for if workers’ rights are not protected and promoted”; thus, for this reason, “The Board and Management promised that workers’ rights will be protected at all times, there would be no board or management without workers, so let’s work as a team”.
Mr. Hackman again urged the Union to ensure they held the highest work ethics that will inure to the benefit of the company as they have done all these years.
Mr Kwanda praised the Board and Management for their commitment during the process for the development of the agreement and assured them that, “the union on behalf of workers will play their expected roles and will look up to the Board and Management to reciprocate it”.
The BOST Union Chairman urged the management and board to disregard and not to entertain anonymous letters and petitions; “your reaction to these faceless characters will either disarm them or empower them to continue to tarnish the brand image of the company.
“People and group with genuine concern and issues must be bold to use the appropriate internal mechanism to address their issues. As the union chairman I assure you that I will at all times defend and protect staffs’ interest. But if you indulged in baseless allegations and accusations, the union will not be part of that”.
BOST was incorporated in December 1993 as a private limited liability company with the Government of Ghana as the sole shareholder; however, the workers suffered over 12 years without conditions of service.
Until May 2001, BOST was responsible for the distribution of refined petroleum products from its strategic depots located throughout the country.
Additionally, BOST also holds the Natural Gas Transmission Utility License granted to it by the Ghana Energy Commission (EC) on December 19th, 2012.
The NGTU as per EC Act 541, 1997, will provide transmission and interconnection services for natural gas without discrimination throughout the country.