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12.01.2005 General News

ICU would not quit Hall of Trades Union

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Accra, Jan. 12, GNA - The breakaway Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) on Wednesday said it would not quit the Hall of Trades Union as demanded by the Executive Board of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC).

The position of the ICU was stated in letter signed by Mr Napoleon Kpoh, General Secretary of ICU, in response to a letter dated January 7, 2005, from the TUC Secretary-General, Mr Kwasi Adu-Amankwah asking the ICU to vacate all the offices occupied by the Union within the Hall of the Trade Unions by January 31, 2005.

ICU said: "We ... regret to advise you that your demand is misconceived as we do not occupy any premises belonging to the GTUC." The letter, a copy of which was made available to the Ghana New Agency, stated that the Hall of Trades Unions was for all organised workers' organisations / Trades Unions. "The Hall is not the exclusive property of the GTUC.

"In fact all Trades Unions have a right to occupy the Hall of Trades Unions including even the TEGLEU, subject to the availability of vacant offices.

"It is, therefore, absurd for a co-ordinating body of some workers organisation such as the GTUC to be requesting some other registered trade union, especially the largest registered trade union in Ghana to vacate its offices within the Hall of Trades Unions."

Mr Kpoh explaining the issue further in an interview with the GNA said even if the building belonged to the TUC, it was all the affiliate members that built it.

He said the TUC had no right of ejection, because it had no singular right to the property and explained that the ICU contributed the highest amount of money towards the renovation of the building recently. Mr Kpoh described the ejection notice as an action emanating out of pain and "a misplacement and emotional miscalculation because we have broken away".

The ICU General Secretary asked Mr Adu-Amankwaa to crosscheck his facts from Mr Alex Hammah, Mr Christian Appiagyei and Mr Issifu Ali, all former Secretary-Generals of TUC.

The GTUC had on Tuesday given ICU until January 31 2005 to vacate the premises of the Hall of Trades Unions, in letter to the ICU, a copy of which was made available to the GNA.

It said: "The ICU ceased to be an affiliate of the Ghana TUC after December 28th 2004. It has, therefore, lost its entitlement to the rights and benefits enjoyed by Ghana TUC affiliates including having offices at the Hall of Trades Unions.

"In the circumstances, we request that the ICU vacates all the offices occupied by the Union within the Hall of Trades Unions. Mr Adu-Amankwah explained that the Executive Board of the TUC accepted the ICU's notice of disaffiliation from the Ghana TUC on June 29. But in accordance with the GTUC Constitution, the disaffiliation was to come into effect on December 28 - six months after the notification.

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