The Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) supported by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Ghana is demanding the reinstatement of their three Local Union leaders who have been dismissed by the Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited for joining the Union.
Clad in red and black attires, members of the Union, yesterday, protested the dismissal of their members following the expiration of the ultimatum given to the company to reinstate the workers.
Numbering about 600, the members converged at the Mt. Sanai Methodist Church hoisting placards with inscriptions such as ‘Enough of the intimidation of workers’ right; stand up for your rights,’ ‘Bring back the three dismissed local Union leaders of Sunon Asogli Power Limited’ and ‘Stop interfering in the unionisation of workers.’
They matched through the street of Kpone amidst singing through to a barricaded area of the Sunon Asogli Power Limited under the guide of the Police but did not enter the premises of the Power plant.
There, the Union described the dismissal of the local Chairman, Secretary and Assistant Secretary as unfair, unlawful, suppressive and disrespect to national institutions.
General Secretary of the TUC, Dr Yaw Baah therefore implored the government to intervene and facilitate the reinstatement of the workers within two weeks.
He warned that the entire 1.5 billion membership of the Union would picket at the Jubilee House if government fails to address the issues within the given ultimatum.
General Secretary of GMWU, Abdul Moomin Gbana clarified that the GMWU and Sunon Asogli Power Limited went through the necessary legal processes to acquire a Collective Bargaining Certificate which empowered the Union to represent and negotiate with the company on behalf of the workers.
“In doing so, the Union did not only adopt the procedure and approach required by law but worked collaboratively with regulatory institutions of the state including the Labour Department of Ghana.
“It was therefore not surprising that when the same claims of the company bothering on the list of workers and the Collective Bargaining Certificate ended up at the National Labour Commission, the Commission directed and ruled that management demand for the list of the unionised workers did not arise at the stage of the unionisation process and that the Certificate was properly and legally acquired so the Company should comply and enter negotiations with the Union,” he added.
According to him, the Commission also made it clear to Sunon Asogli that it was frustrating the unionisation process and violating the rights of the workers to form and join trade unions of their choices as guaranteed by the Constitution of Ghana, the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) 87 and 98.
He said the Union was displeased with the blatant disrespect for the order and directives of the NLC by disregarding the decision of the NLC with impunity and rather resorted to acts of abuse, intimidation and victimisation of workers for the simple decision to join a Union.
While recognising the effort of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr Gbana said calls for the management of the company to reinstate the workers had fallen on death ears.
Consequent to that, the Union would use any appropriate means including demonstrations across the country and picketing at the seat of government to demand the reinstatement of their dismissed members, Mr Gbana said.
FROM KEN AFEDZI, KPONE