The Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana has called for the immediate reinstatement of three local union leaders of the Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited, who have been sacked for joining a union and being elected as leaders.
Aside from the return of the three affected workers, only identified as Chairperson, Secretary and Assistant Secretary of the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (GMWU) branch of the company, the TUC wants victimisation of other union members to stop.
Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday, the Secretary General of the TUC, Dr Antony Baah, said if the request was not granted by Monday, “The TUC and all its affiliate unions shall have no other option but to advice themselves.”
“If our demands are not met, we are going to act decisively in accordance with TUC’s fundamental principle that injustice to a worker anywhere in Ghana is injustice to all Ghanaian workers everywhere, and the collective actions we will take can have serious consequences for the effective functioning of the entire economy of Ghana,” he said.
Clad in red like other members of the union who attended the press conference, Dr Baah recalled that in February 2021, about 70 workers of the company decided to join the GMWU, and thus satisfied all the necessary legal processes to acquire a Collective Bargaining Certificate to enable the GMWU to represent and negotiate with the Company on behalf of the unionised workers.
However, he said the Company, through its lawyers, demanded to know the names of the unionised workers as a condition for the recognition of the Certificate issued by the Labour Department.
He said when the matter was reported to the National Labour Commission (NMC), it ruled against the company’s request and directed that negotiations should begin, but the company disregarded the directive and refused to recognise the GMWU.
In January and February this year, Dr Baah said the company refused a request for negotiations to begin, as well as deduction and payment of monthly subscriptions to the Union, based on concerns it has about the Union Certificate.
He said based on the Company’s refusal to cooperate with the Union, it decided to embark on strike and notified the Company and copied the NLC which invited the parties, but the company refused to appear before the NLC.
He said following a meeting of the local union outside the company’s premises, the company issued query letters to some of the workers, although they were off duty that day.
Dr Baah said despite a directive by the NLC on March 8, 2023 that the intended strike and the queries should be suspended, the company sacked the three union leaders without notice with some of them escorted out by the police.
On the issue of victimisation, he said the Local Union executives had been asked to quit the union or be sacked ; all team leaders who joined the Union demoted, while all unionised employees had been asked to quit the union for salary increment