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03.02.2009 Business & Finance

Illegal strike to cost workers three days salary

Two hundred and nineteen workers of the PSC Tema Shipyard are to forfeit three days of their salaries for embarking on a three-day illegal strike in November last year.

In addition, those workers who allegedly assaulted the head of finance of the company on December 2, 2008 are to remain on interdiction pending investigations into the incident.

These form part of the verdict given by the National Labour Commission (NLC) after it had declared as illegal the strike embarked upon by the workers from November 18 to 20, 2008 over a dispute on bonus tax.

Following the strike, the management of PSC Tema Shipyard locked out the workers but the Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) filed a complaint at the NLC against the action of management.

In its ruling, the NLC invoked Section 168 (2) of the Labour Act, which states that "Workers who embark on a strike which is illegal are liable for any damage, loss or injury suffered by any other person as a result of the illegal strike."

"As a result, the workers should forfeit three days' salary to enable management of the shipyard to defray part of the cost it incurred during the illegal strike," a statement signed by the Public Affairs Officer of the NLC, Mr Mohammed Affum, and issued in Accra yesterday said.

While endorsing the continued interdiction of the workers who allegedly assaulted the head of finance, the NLC directed management to withdraw interdiction letters issued to workers who were not on duty on December 2, 2008 and recall them.

"The commission asked management of the shipyard to be mindful of 'good faith' negotiations to ensure industrial peace and harmony in the enterprise," the statement said.

It said the commission directed management and the union to report on the implementation of its decisions on Wednesday, February 11,2009.