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Industrial and Commercial Workers Union engages women in cocoa production about their rights

The Industrial and Commercial Workers Union is partnering with FNV Mondiaal of the Netherlands to build the capacity of women.

The partnership with FNV Mondiaal, a global worker union, will focus on the state of cocoa production and women labour in Ghana.

General Secretary of Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), Solomon Kotei, says the move will not only empower Ghanaian cocoa farmers but also increase production under what he calls the ‘Cocoa-farmer Program’.

The program will focus on the returns cocoa farmers get on their produce from government and check instances of possible cheating.

Mondiaal FNV is supporting trade union partners in low and middle-income countries like Ghana to enable them to play their part in negotiation and dialogue.

The global worker union will also contribute to the realisation of decent work, employment, fundamental rights at work, social security and social dialogue.

The ICU has been tasked to play an advocacy role by highlighting to the global community how Ghana determines prices for the cocoa farmer.

Mr Kotei says, in the coming weeks, the advocacy will start from cocoa growing areas in the Central Region.

“The FNV for that matter the world cocoa conference is interested to know where Ghana is getting these products from, what type of labour are being used.

“The world is looking at us in Africa that we are still using child labour for whatever we do in the cocoa production. If it is true they may ban our product but if it is not true then the needed support will come to us,” he said.

Members from all the eleven regions of the workers union (ICU) have benefitted from a two-day capacity building workshop in Kumasi.

It will expose the women to know their rights and what even influences their contribution at the workplace.

Mr Kotei is excited this will empower the women to work efficiently.

“What we intend to do at this program was to give the capacity to the women to know that issues of equity and equality shouldn’t be a hold on the woman to rise up in whichever working environment they find themselves”, he said.

According to him, ICU wants to have a knowledge-based union so the project will also help the union to touch base with its members at the grassroots level.

The project worth a total of 50,000 Euros started from 2017 and will last till 2020.

Coordinator for the project for ICU, Christine Asante, says district assemblies, community leaders and cocoa farmers will be engaged extensively to gather relevant information from the right source for the project.

“I believe the project will be as successful as planned.”

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