An Accra High Court (Labour Division) will on Monday, July 3, hear a motion on notice to enforce the National Labour Commission ‘s decision in a complaint filed by the Ghana Mineworkers Union against Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited.
The National Labour Commission( NLC) is in court to ensure that Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited rescind its decision to terminate the employment of members of a local union.
In a letter to the NLC (the applicant), Sunon Asogli Power Limited (the respondent) through it’s lawyers said: ” It does not object to the joining of a union by any of its employees, in as much as the joining of the union, is the sole election of the employee.”
The letter said it objected to the manner the complainant (the Ghana Mineworkers Union) was going about the purported unionisation.
“The process by, which the complainant is proceeding with the purported unionisation is contrary to the applicable statute as the due process provided for by the statute is being disregarded, ” the letter said.
The NLC in an affidavit in support of its motion, said the Ghana Mineworkers Union of TUC had petitioned it against the respondent over unfair labour practice.
According to the NLC, its members were being coerced to leave the union.
Based on that, the NLC by a letter dated March 1, 2022, invited the respondent.
Without hearing from the respondent after seven days, the NLC said it issued a reminder to the respondent.
The respondent, through its lawyers, then responded.
The NLC said on April 27, 2022, it fixed a hearing for the matter but the respondent could not attend.
The Commission then adjourned the matter, but gave some directives.
It directed that the respondent recognised the Collective Bargaining Certificate (CBC).
“That the parties should constitute a Standing Negotiating Committee (SNC) to negotiate and resolve any disagreement they have, failing for which, they must report to the Commission.”
It said on June 16, 2023, the Commission received a joint letter from the parties indicating that they had not been able to reach an agreement in line with the directives of the NLC.
The NLC said on September 7, 2022, both parties agreed in principle to respect the CBC.
Consequently, the NLC said it directed the parties to submit a report jointly signed on the terms of settlement.
On October 11, 2022, the Union wrote to the Commission that the respondent was making it difficult for the implementation of the Commision’s directives.
After various meetings between the parties, a notice of industrial strike was served on the Commission.
The Commission said on receipt of the notice of strike, it asked the parties ” to stay all intended strike actions”.
The NLC said on March 3, 2023, the Union wrote to it indicating that the respondent had been issuing threats and intimidating members of the local executives to the extent that three workers had had their employment terminated despite the Commission ‘s directive “to stay all intended actions”.
The NLC held that the said “termination of employment of the three employees was not justifiable in law”.
It said it breached the Labour Act provision of unfair labour practice and a breach of the fundamental human rights of employees to associate with unions of their choice.
Credit to GNA