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05.09.2005 General News

NLC directs doctors to call off strike


Accra, Sept. 5, GNA - The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the Ghana Medical Association to call off its strike action, while negotiations continue.

This is because negotiating, while the strike is continuing amounts to unfair labour practice contrary to section 161 (1) of the Labour Act which states: "a party to an industrial dispute shall not resort to a strike or lockout during the period when negotiating, mediation or arbitration proceedings are in progress."

A statement signed by Mr Kwesi Danso Acheampong, Deputy Chairman of the NLC said the it expected that as a registered trade union, Ghana Medical Association would respect and comply with the provisions of the Labour Act that regulated industrial relations practise and immediately end the strike action.

"In response to a letter from the Ministry of Health asking the National Labour Commission to arbitrate in their dispute with public sector doctors, the Ghana Medical Association has written to the Commission stating its willingness to subject the matter to arbitration at a date and time given by the commission.

"In spite of their willingness to have the dispute settled by arbitration, it has come to the notice of the Commission that the Ghana Medical Association is negotiating with the Ministry of Health. In view of this, the Commission directs that the Association calls off its strike action while negotiations are continuing as it amounts to unfair labour practice contrary to section 161 (1) of the Labour Act."

The GMA last Friday asked its members to embark on the strike action until all arrears in the Additional Duty Hours Allowance (ADHA) were paid.