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29.08.2005 General News

Ghana Airways staff sue company & govt


Accra, Aug. 29, GNA - More than 1,240 former workers of the defunct Ghana Airways Limited have sued the company, the Attorney-General, Ghana International Airlines and the liquidator over severance award. Four colleagues, Mr Roland Mosore, Mr I.A. Koufie, Mr D.K. Omane and Mr I.A. Boakye, filed the suit at the High Court on August 25 on behalf of 1,237 other staff.

A statement of claim obtained by the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Monday said the workers were asking for an order directed against Ghana Airways Limited, the government, represented by the Attorney-General and the liquidator, jointly and severally "compelling them to negotiate and pay a fair severance award" to them.

The suit said Ghana Airways Limited and the government were enjoined to negotiate with the plaintiffs upon terminating their appointments on grounds of redundancy.

They are also demanding the payment of interest at the current bank rate on agreed and calculated final amounts due to each of them. It said should the parties fail to reach negotiated agreement, the court should fix "a fair and just severance award to be paid to plaintiffs with interest at the current bank rate".

The workers are asking for the payment of salary arrears, benefits and entitlements due to them under their respective conditions of service.

They are also asking for general and special damages for breach of employment contract for failing to set up a building scheme for erection of houses for them and also for failing to pay their long service awards.

The workers are asking for special damages, which should be the difference between the cost of building a retirement home in 1998-2000 and the prevailing cost at the date of judgement.

The suit is asking for the declaration of the appointment of liquidator void on grounds of illegality and bad faith. The workers are asking for a court order restraining the defendants from ejecting them from their houses until final payment of their severance awards and other entitlements and an order restraining Ghana Airways and the government from transferring any asset and rights of Ghana Airways to Ghana International Airlines until the obligations of the defendants to the plaintiffs have been discharged.

The suit is asking for an order restraining the Attorney-General from winding up Ghana Airways Limited without Ghana Airways, government and the liquidator severally and jointly having first satisfied the obligation to the plaintiffs of "unfinished business of negotiating appropriate severance awards and entitlements payable to plaintiffs and paying same".

The workers are also demanding payment of cash commutations of leave to entitled plaintiffs and payment of long service award to those entitled to it.

Former workers of Ghana Airways have been in a raging battle with the various stakeholders over severance award.