Mr Emmanuel Addo-Kumi, Greater Accra Branch Vice Chairman, of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) has issued a stern warning to foreign operated companies and others who are preventing their workers from forming or joining unions in contravention of the labour laws of the country, stressing “you stand in the way of workers at the peril of your companies survival”.
Mr Addo-Kumi, who is also the Vice-Chairman of the Tema District Council of Labour (TDCL) in an interview monitored by the Communication for Development and Advocacy Consult (CDA Consult) that the council was gathering evidence of several companies who are guilty of such acts in the Tema Heavy Industrial Area, “we will descend on these illegal acts through the proper legal means”.
He explained that Ghana’s 1992 Constitution enshrined the right to form or belong to an association, adding that the Labour Act also affirms the right of workers to belong to as well as their right to form a union, “so both the constitution and the labour act, make it clear that organizations that have workers must allow them to form a union.”
The TDCL, therefore, called on authorities to make sure such companies were brought to book, reminding them that as expatriates they were in Ghana to work not to maltreat their employees as the monies that they would get would be transferred to develop their home countries.
“The least you can do is to respect the indigenous people who are working for you, and therefore we are calling on him to be on guard and desist from maltreating the workers,” he added.
He explained that some company owners and management terminate the appointments of employees when they attempt to form or join unions.
He said some companies have sacked the leaders and some of the employers because they made up their minds to join unions, stating that even though Ghanaians were happy to have industries, they do not want the ones that would work against the 1992 Constitution of the country.
He cited a cement company in the Tema Industrial area which even though has allowed its workers to belong to the mother union, the General Transport for Petrol and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCW) however the management in a smart move sacks any of their workers who becomes a union leader at the least mistake.