The Information Technology (IT) Professionals Union (TIP), an association of workers who manage key technical operations for the telecommunication operators in the country, are demanding immediate redress of issues relating to their remuneration and unfair labour practices.
The group made up of telecom engineers, technicians, IT professionals and other allied workers, accused its employers of refusing to renew the contracts of some of its members due to their association with union leaders who are negotiating the 2022 Collective Agreement (CA) and salary increment.
A statement issued in Accra on Thursday alleged that the “Golden handshake” (benefits) owed affected workers had not been paid while their employers were not cooperating with the Union on outstanding issues in the 2022 CA and salary negotiation, which had reached a deadlock before the National Labour Commission (NLC).
If the contracts are not renewed, the benefits not paid and the cooperation not renewed, the statement signed by Israel EdemAgbebor, the General Secretary of TIP, said they would embark on strike on Monday.
“Ghana’s telecommunications system will be left on autopilot as telecom workers embark on an indefinite nationwide strike from Monday, September 5 2022, until the non-negotiable demands are met by their employers,” it said.
The statement explained that the NCA had been informed of the strike in response to the direct attack by the employers at the leadership of the Union (From National, Regional and Branch) that had threatened the very existence of the Union and its members.
According to the Union, the four employers; Linfra Ghana Limited, MP Infrastructure Ghana Limited, Reime Ghana Limited and Reliance Personal Services (subcontractors and employment agencies of Huawei Technologies on the managed service operations of MTN, Vodafone and AirtelTigo) had refused to sign a joint letter with the Union to refer to the pending issues that all parties had declared deadlock on since July 2022.
The pending items included Determination of the Principal employer and the role of the principal employer in the employment relationship; Provisions to re-negotiate to restore equilibrium in the CA; Severance; Professional Subscription Fees; Workload and Working Tools (Laptops, Mobile phones, Data bundle and airtime and Pickup vehicles) and Proposed Forty-five (45 per cent) salary increment for 2022.
In a letter dated 10th of August 2022, the union reported the deliberate delay and refusal by the employers to sign the joint letter and the targeting of key Union members and reps for non-contract renewal to the NLC and appealed to NLC to intervene.
In another separate letter, the Union gave the employers up to 26th of August, 2022 to pay all entitlement including the Golden handshake due to all the affected workers whose contract would end on 31st of August, 2022 but would not be renewed.
The statement said all efforts to engage all stakeholders and even get earlier court pronouncements enforced, had not yielded a positive result hence their decision to embark on the strike.
BY TIMES REPORTER