The cocoa carriers started a sit-down strike on 5 January to demand better conditions of service. A COCOBOD spokesperson said an agreement has been reached for an increase in their daily wage.
The cocoa carriers were paid 62 pesewas (GHS 0.62) per bag they carried, and have now accepted a daily wage of 82 pesewas after a series of meetings with management officials, which is equivalent to US$ 0.10 per bag.
Raymond Atanga, Chairman of the Cocoa Carriers Association, told local media: “A meeting was held here in Kumasi. All cocoa carriers in Tema, Takoradi and Kumasi have decided to call off the strike. We are not satisfied with the outcome though. We have carefully considered the losses and harms our strike may cause. COCOBOD has assured us that we will be paid 82 pesewas. But we will not relax till our wage is moved to 1 cedi.”
Local reports had suggested that during the strike casual labourers, as well as prison inmates, were employed to carry cocoa into COCOBOD's warehouses.
During the dispute, the cocoa carriers also expressed concerns about the hazardous nature of their work with many reporting sicknesses and rashes after being exposed to chemicals or other injuries due to the physical nature of the work.
One carrier told local media: “I have to carry 64 kilo bags the whole day. We pick the bags from the truck, send it to the lab, then stack it up at the warehouse. We go to the house tired, yet we are given so little.”
- This article was amended 13/1/2022 to reflect the correct levels of pay for the carriers, we mistakenly quoted carriers were receiving US$10.07 per day.