The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has written to the National Labour Commission (NLC) inviting it to a meeting to discuss shortfalls in the operations of the NLC, which is making workers lose confidence in its operations.
Secretary General of TUC, Mr Kofi Asamoah, who disclosed this to The Finder, said the very existence of the NLC is in danger following the alarming rate at which workers’ unions are losing confidence in the operations of the institution.
He was commenting on the ongoing strike by the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) over its conditions of service, which has brought healthcare delivery in the country on its knees, leaving patients desperately in need of medical attention unattended to.
According to him, several labour unions are bitter that the NLC has woefully failed to enforce its own decisions and to the extent that sometimes the commission fails to enter appearance when government seeks court action to quash decisions of the NLC.
Most often, because the NLC lawyers do not go to court to defend its decisions, judges often get frustrated, and after several adjournments enter judgement in favour of the plaintiff, usually government, thus quashing NLC’s decisions.
In effect, majority of decisions in favour of labour are rendered useless because the NLC cannot enforce them.
The workers argue that this situation always brings them back to square one with no end in sight.
Under the Labour Act, the NLC has to go to court to ensure that its rulings are complied.
Mr Asamoah was worried that with the current situation, workers may no longer resort to the NLC but embark on unilateral strikes.
He explained that Organised Labour played a critical role in bringing the NLC into being, with the intention to fast-track adjudication, as the courts take long time to decide on cases involving labour unions.
However, he said lawyers have hijacked the NLC, prolonging adjudication, some for as long as two years.
The TUC Secretary General stated that Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), as well as other government agencies are not proactive, resulting in numerous strikes by public sector workers.
However, Mr Asamoah noted that the NLC faces serious challenges, of which lack of resources tops the list.
He added that NLC commissioners are part-time workers who meet once a week, thus it would be necessary to consider making the NLC a permanent commission.
Source: The Finder
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