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A deputy Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Bright Wireko-Brobbey, has lauded the initiatives put in place by Nestle Ghana Limited to ensure a good working environment for workers of the company.
In addition to its comprehensive Health and Safety measures which ensures that the over 1300 staff at the Tema factory of Nestle Ghana Limited as well as other administrative offices in the country operate in a friendly environment, the company has increased maternity leave for nursing mothers from the mandated 12 weeks to 16 weeks. The company has also introduced a five day paternity leave to enable fathers assist their wives at home.
At the workplace there is a dedicated breastfeeding room where nursing mothers keep their children and are allowed to go feed them on regular intervals.
“These are very laudable initiatives that Nestle has introduced and I think it is very commendable. I will urge others to emulate this example, it is very good. This must be encouraged,” the deputy Minister stated. This was on Thursday when he paid a working visit to Nestle Ghana’s factory at Tema.
According to him the visit forms part of the Ministry’s initiative to learn at first hand the challenges facing industries in the country and to learn about the issues they are facing in managing their labour related issues, among others.
“Since my Minister took over we have been learning very fast. We want to know what we can do to improve labour relations in Ghana. There are over nine million to ten million workers in Ghana but government can only employ two million of them. It is the private sector that absolves the rest and that is why we want to create a relationship with them.
“We are also here to encourage you to take your factory safety seriously. So far I am so impressed with what I have seen since I arrived here in terms of workplace safety measures and I want to congratulate you for the safety measures you have put in place,” he stated.
Welcoming the Minister, the Human Resource Manager at Nestle, responsible for the Coastal Cluster-Ghana, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Agnes Kafui Forson, appreciated the Ministry’s move to ensure a healthy relationship with industry.
“Our doors are always open for suggestions and any forms of assistance that is within our means,” she stated.
She pleaded with the government to make it an agenda to raise awareness on health and wellness among the Ghanaian workforce because “it is very necessary for productivity, creativity and wealth creation at the workplace,” she stated.
Nestle has about 6,700 staff in the Central and West Africa sub region and in Ghana alone where its CWA head office is located the staff strength is over 1300. This consist of 91% males and 9% females. About 35% of raw materials used for all Nestle products are sourced locally.
The Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Manager at Nestle Ghana, Ama Amoah, said the company has used its various Corporate Social Responsibility projects dubbed Creating Shared Values (CSV) to impact lives and sustained the gains they have made in the society. “It is always a win-win for both sides because we take so much from society and we are able to give so much back to society,” she stated.
She mentioned initiatives such as the Nestle Healthy Kids project, the compulsory parents’ engagement programme, building the capacity of 1300 health professionals, ensuring waste water sustainability and conservation as well as the Nestle Cocoa plan and Nestle Cereal Plan as activities that have projects embarked on by the company to benefit society.
The deputy Minister hinted that Ghana is currently developing a labor marketing system as part of moves to rebrand the Ministry for Employment and Labor Relations.
“We want to sanitize the system and bring innovation so that companies like Nestle can have or employ the kind of people they want with the requisite skills and education,” he stated.
Source: Jeorge Wilson Kingson || ghananewsonline.com.gh