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24.04.2007 Business & Finance

Labour Commission denies Bank of Ghana staff claims

By myjoyonline
Labour Commission denies Bank of Ghana staff claims

The National Labour Commission has denied endorsing salary increments for staff of the Bank of Ghana.

Staff of the Bank went on a strike on Monday to demand a 40 percent hike in salaries to bring it at par with their counterparts in other financial institutions after management insisted on paying 10 percent.

Only a handful of staff were seen serving customers at a snail pace as at 1000 hours, whiles management and senior staff association leaders were engaged in a marathon meeting.

The striking workers say management's action contravenes a ruling by the Labour Commission, which endorsed their demands.

But the Public Relations Officer of the Commission, Mohammed Affum, has told Joy News the Commission has not approved any 40 percent hike for the workers.

Mr Affum explained that his outfit has been trying to reach a settlement on issues of rent and unionization between the two parties but maintained that the issue of a 40 percent pay rise is not one of dispute before the Commission.

Staff of Bank deserted the cool ambience of the banking hall on Monday for the morning scorching sun as they demonstrated on the streets to register their disgust at what they said was delays in salary negotiations.

The staff, dressed in their official uniform of navy blue clothes with red ribbons to portray their frustrations amidst the singing of local war and patriotic songs, converged front of the Central Bank building.

Occasionally vociferous men among the crowd pick a megaphone to chant out their demand for a 40 percent pay raise, whilst the rest respond with thunderous applause and screaming.

Scores of customers at the banking hall expressed their frustration, saying strategically refusing to work at full strength on the first working day of the week amounted to stagnation of the economy.

"Whatever difficulties they have with their management, we should not be made to suffer unduly, we are being used as a bargaining instrument, which is very unfortunate," a distressed customer said.

The Ghana News Agency learnt that the bank's Senior Staff Association last week called for hoisting of red flags at the various premises of the bank across the country in anticipation of a strike action, if management fails to meet them at the negotiating table.

They said BoG Management had refused to negotiate with senior staff and the Union over the wage opener in spite of the issuance of a bargaining certificate by the Labour Commission.

Management according to the source, reportedly sent a circular to the effect that, due to the magnitude of work regarding the re-denomination exercise, it would not be part of negotiations.

It however indicated that it did not object to the senior staff and the union meeting coming out with terms of negotiations for consideration by management.

A Management source however, accused the Senior Staff Association of attempting to use their wage issues to sabotage the re-denomination exercise because the Association will not agree to give the management the mandate to negotiate on their behalf.