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17.04.2008 Business & Finance

Contempt charges against Barclays Boss dismissed

By The Statesman

The contempt of court charges brought against the Managing Director of Barclays Bank Ghana Limited, Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Lauren Lokko, Human Resources Business Partner, also of the Bank, was dismissed by an Accra Fast Track High Court yesterday.

The court held that the workers have failed to establish or prove the contempt of court charges brought against the two and therefore discharged the two Barclays Bank workers accordingly.

According to the court, contempt cases are very serious and hence the guilt of the defendants should be proved beyond any reasonable doubt by the plaintiffs.

The court further held that the information provided by the plaintiffs pertaining to their salaries did not provide any comparison basis to show that their salaries have been withheld by the Bank.

Some former workers of the Barclays Bank Limited, Accra, on March 10 cited their Managing Director of the Bank, Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Lauren Lokko, Human Resources Business Partner, also of the Bank, for contempt of court.

According to the workers, the Barclays boss acted in contempt of the court process and insulted the dignity and honour of the court by refusing to allow them to continue in their offices and also ordering that their full monthly salaries be withheld.

The workers, who are also the local trade union leaders of the ICU at the Bank, include Opare Yeboah, Samuel Anarwat, Angela Deku, Esther Asiedu-Larbi and Gariba Adam Andan.

The rest are Edward Boakye, Thomas Benjamin Qauinoo and Matthew Kotoku. The suit also has the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union as a party.

Their lawyer, Albert Adaare reiterated that Margaret Mwanakatwe, and Lauren Lokko were personally aware of the pending of the application for interlocutory injunction, which he indicated "is as effective as the order of injunction itself, even though the order is yet to be made."

He said it is important for the maintenance of the dignity and integrity of the court that the Barclays boss be committed for the contempt of court.

The workers held that their summary dismissal on January 11 was illegal being in contravention of Articles 15 and 17 of the collective bargaining agreement and the Labour Act, 2003, Act 651, and are null and void.

They are also seeking a declaration that Barclays' action is arbitrary, capricious and victimisation to them as trade union leaders.

The workers held that presently negotiations are still ongoing between the ICU and the Bank to finalise a new collective bargaining agreement and they, the local trade union executives form part of the negotiation team of the ICU, and the Bank is seeking to use their purported dismissal to coerce them to accept its proposals at the negotiating table.

By slarge

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