The Ghana Medical Association has challenged the locus of the General Secretary of the United Front Party (UFP), to drag the association to court for embarking on strike.
It said Listowel Nana Kusi-Poku, the UFP scribe went to court on a speculative motive and not on firm grounds or appreciation of the issues at stake.
“My Lord, we did not intend to take the wind out of the court’s sail. But, we did not really see the locus of the plaintiff,” said Garry Nimako Marfo, lawyer for the GMA when he prayed the court to adjourn the case to enable him to file additional documents to set aside the reliefs being sought for by the plaintiff.
Mr. Marfo told the court, presided over by Justice Barbara Tetteh-Charway that he entered a conditional appearance on Tuesday, August 11, 2015, but needed enough time to respond to the claims of Kusi-Poku.
The plaintiff wanted the court to place an interlocutory injunction to coerce the GMA to call off its strike and return to the negotiation table.
The case was due for ruling yesterday but had to adjourn to August 26 to enable the GMA to file supplementary evidence.
A statement of claim accompanied by the writ of summons filed by the General Secretary of the United Front Party, Listowel Nana Kusi-Poku, prayed the court to declare the decision to embark on strike as illegal.
It also prayed the court to compel the doctors to go back to work and negotiate for the conditions of service they were seeking for.
“The plaintiff says unless this court intervenes, the defendant will not recant its decision,” the statement said.
The statement averred that members of the public to whom the doctors rendered essential services, had suffered irreparable damages.
It said the defendant’s action was in contravention of the Labour Act 651 which prohibits essential service providers such as the one provided by doctors, to embark on strike while negotiating.
Plaintiff said a careful perusal of the reasons for which doctors embarked on strike, revealed that they ought not to have members of the public as a bargaining chip for their improved conditions of service.
The statement noted that the claim of the doctors about non-existent conditions of service for them was inaccurate.
Plaintiff argued that while defendants were entitled to their demands as far as improvement on existing conditions were concerned, same must be done on laid down labour principles.
The statement also sought a number of reliefs including a declaration that there was an existing conditions of service for doctors.
It also prayed for a perpetual injunction compelling the defendants to return to work and exhaust all the channels of negotiations.
By Malik Sullemana