A total of 74 former employees of Scanstyle Mim Limited, a timber and wood processing company at Mim in the Brong-Ahafo Region, have dragged the company and the National Labour Commission (NLC) to court.
The plaintiffs are among 205 workers laid off by Scanstyle in 2008 after they had embarked on a sit-down strike to demand the payment of their three months unpaid salaries.
According to their lawyer, Nana Obiri Boahen, the 1stdefendant (Scanstyle Mim) employed the plaintiffs as workers on different dates, but from 2008 onwards it started subjecting the plaintiffs to unfair, inhuman and unorthodox treatment.
Mim Scanstyle, without recourse to the due process of the law and labour rules, purportedly dismissed the plaintiffs after they demanded their salaries.
The plaintiffs petitioned the NLC for redress, and the NLC on August 5, 2009 declared that their dismissal was contrary to the provision of Act 651.
NLC also ordered Mim Scanstyle to recall the workers and allow them to sign a bond of good behaviour for a stipulated period in addition to any other condition.
The company however refused to comply with the recommendations made by the NLC a year after the ruling, compelling the dismissed workers to write petitions to various institutions and personalities including the former President Prof John Evans Atta Mills.
According to their statement of claim, not long after they wrote a reminder to the Office of the President about their plight, their attention was drawn to a purported review in a letter dated 5th November, 2009 purported to have been written by the 2nd defendant (NLC) to set aside the recommendations made on 5th August, 2009.
The plaintiffs described the said review which was clandestinely and fraudulently done by the defendants as wrong, improper and unlawful since such a review cannot be done without their knowledge.
“The defendants have teamed up and in a concerted effort denied or deprived the plaintiffs off their severance awards, salary arrears and all other payments due them,” it stated.
The plaintiffs are therefore seeking general damages for the unlawful and improper termination of their appointments and an order compelling the company to pay their severance awards, accumulated salaries, arrears and allowances due them.
They are also seeking a declaration that the purported review by the NLC on November 5, 2009 “is/was wrongful in law, abuse of the natural justice rule, procedurally incompetent and same tainted with fraud.”
One of the plaintiffs, Kwaku Mensah, told DAILY GUIDE that he and his colleagues have gone through a lot of hardship over the period, as seven of them have died due to the situation.
He also disclosed that the majority of them have been divorced due to the situation.
Source: Fred Tettey Alarti-Amoako/Daily Guide
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