The Trade Union Congress (TUC) in Ghana has called for the reinstatement of three local union leaders of Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited. The TUC has requested the company management to rectify the wrongful termination of the union leaders by April 3, 2023.
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The TUC has also warned the company management to stop any further acts of intimidation, fear, and victimisation of its members and to cease the abuse of workers’ rights for their union membership.
Dr. Anthony Yaw Baah, Secretary-General of TUC Ghana, spoke at a press conference in Accra, stating that the termination of the union leaders was because they had joined a trade union and had been elected to lead workers at the enterprise level.
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The TUC has called on the company to comply with the Labour Act of 2003 (Act 651) and respect the workers’ rights to unionise.
Dr. Baah stated that over 68 workers of the company had joined the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union in February 2021, and the union had gone through the necessary legal processes to acquire a Collective Bargaining Certificate, which empowered the union to represent and negotiate with the company on behalf of the workers.
The situation between the company and the union escalated when the company’s lawyers demanded to know the names of the workers as a condition for the recognition of the Collective Bargaining Certificate issued by the Labour Department.
The National Labour Commission intervened, and on two occasions directed the company to comply and negotiate with the union. However, the company has refused to comply with sections 102 and 111 of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651).
In response to the company’s intransigence, the union served a notice of intention to embark on strike, and the National Labour Commission summoned the parties to appear before it on March 1, 2023.
However, the company failed to appear before the Commission but got its lawyers to send a note to the Commission, indicating that their unavailability was because they were appearing before another high court.
Dr. Baah revealed that the union had evidence of query letters being issued to its members, who were all off duty and had attended a meeting at the instance of the Union to inform them of an impending election of their leaders at the enterprise level.
Following the company’s absence, the Commission rescheduled the hearing to March 8, 2023, but directed both parties to “stay all ongoing and/or any intended action(s).”
Dr. Baah urged the company’s authorities to resolve the issue as early as possible to avoid any further escalation with unpredictable consequences. When contacted by the Ghana News Agency, the management of the Sunon Asogli declined to comment on the matter.