Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Limited Company has issued a press release to address matters relating to unionisation at the company and the sacking of three employees.
In the last few months, Sunon Asogli officials have had to hold various meetings with the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations after the company was accused of unlawfully terminating the contract of three union leaders by the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU).
Later, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) rallied behind GMWU to fight for the interest of the sacked Sunon Asogli employers while demanding their reinstatement.
In the heat of things, Sunon Asogli was accused of being against unionisation.
However, on Wednesday, May 3, when the company released a statement to address matters, it said the accusation is false.
“Sunon Asogli is not and has never been against unionization. Indeed, the company is aware of the right of our employees under the 1992 Constitution of Ghana and the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), to join a union. The issue has been about the procedure and approach adopted by the Ghana Mine Workers’ Union (“GMWU” or “the Union”),” part of the release from the company said.
The release further explained, “It has been our position right from the onset when the Union wrote to us, that we cannot enter into an agreement or negotiate with people we do not know, and that when the Labour Law talks about ‘‘THE WORKER’’ it is referring to a particular individual. We, therefore, requested that the Union should furnish us with the list of workers who had applied to join the Union, but for close to two years, the Union refused.”
Sunon Asogli insists that it believes in doing things in an orderly manner, and it is the respect for due process that has sustained the Company over the years.
The Company argues that it currently has two unions, one which is enterprise-based with the majority in terms of membership (over 60% employees) and the GMWU, with minority membership (less than 25% employees).
With this explanation, the release stresses that one cannot, therefore, tag Sunon Asogli as anti-union.
“The attempt to coerce the majority into agreeing to join GMWU through any means possible is not acceptable. The minority of staff who have agreed to join the GMWU cannot lead or decide for the majority,” the Sunon Asogli release indicated.
The company insists that it shall continue to respect the choices made by staff so far as they follow due process and are in compliance with the law.
Meanwhile, Sunon Asogli says it is “disappointed in the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as a mother body, particularly by its press release of March 27, 2023 and the subsequent speech of the Executive Secretary on May Day 2023, which were laced with threats, falsehood, and distortions, with the sole intention to injure the reputation of Sunon Asogli and to lower the Company in the estimation of right thinking members of society generally and in particular to expose the Company to hatred, contempt, ridicule, and opprobrium.”
The company is of the view that the inability of the TUC to hear from both sides before jumping to a conclusion is worrying.
“We trust in the process ongoing at the National Labour Commission, and it is our hope that an amicable resolution would be found to bring finality to the issues. The Company is grateful to the Honourable Minister responsible for Employment and Labour Relations, the Honourable Minister responsible for National Security, the Honourable Deputy Minister responsible for Employment and Labour Relations and the Chief Director of the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations for their interventions.
“Ghana is a land of freedom and justice, and the bedrock of the peace we enjoy is the respect for the rule of law. All, including the GMWU, must learn to do things in accordance with the law,” the release from Sunon Asogli concluded.