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19.10.2004 General News

Union denies merger moves

By GNA

Accra, Oct 19, GNA - The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) on Monday said it was not in a merger and it has not been in any talks whatsoever with any person or group of persons.

It said UNICOF leadership would live by its values of democracy and transparency and would therefore not engage in any activities without the prior knowledge, involvement and mandate of the structures of the union.

A statement signed jointly by the National Chairman, Mr. Jonas Koranteng-Smart and the General Secretary Mr. F. Kofi Davoh said NEC has been following with keen interest the impasse between the Divestiture Implementation Committee representing the Government of Ghana and the management of GAFCO Limited, which has led to the closure of the latter since July.

It said the NEC was concerned "over the apparent delay at reaching an amicable solution whose consequence is having serious debilitating and an unbearable effect on the interests and livelihoods of GAFCO workers who unfortunately find themselves at the receiving end of the impasse".

The statement also expressed concern about the inability of the Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment to pronounce its ruling on the union to hold the Bargaining Certificate and negotiate the conditions of service on behalf of the local union of the GHACEM. "This delay has unnecessarily brought untold hardships to the workers of GHACEM whose collective bargaining agreement is due for review since May 2004."

The statement urged the sector Minister "who also doubles as the acting Labour Commissioner to, as a matter of urgency, do all within his authority to alleviate the hardship of the workers in the spirit of the Labour Act 2003 (Act 651)".

On Ghana Airways, the NEC discussed the recent decision of the government to restructure the operations of the airline.

It said "whereas the NEC recognises the prerogative of the government to restructure Ghana Airways, we are concerned with any move that attempts to exclude the legitimate representatives of the workers of Ghana Airways from the restructuring process.

"The NEC strongly associates itself with the statement issued by the Secretary General of the TUC on the matter and calls on the government, as a matter of urgency, to involve the relevant unions in any discussions relating to the restructuring process as it relates to the employment of Ghana Airways' workers."

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