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31.03.2006 Business & Finance

Ghana's Labour Act described as a masterpiece

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Accra, March 31, GNA - Mr. Austine Akufo Gamey, Chief Executive Officer of Gamey and Gamey Academy of Mediation has described Ghana's Labour Act 2003 (Act 651) as masterpiece and urged other countries to study the development process.

He said the government and the general public need to learn lessons from the process and style adopted in its preparation - the participation of all social partners and other stakeholders, which was completely alien to the traditional adversarial method of labour legislations.

Mr Gamey stated at the graduation of about 65 industrial relation officers, trade unionist, business executives and labour experts who had undertaken a four-month intensive Executive Diploma in Mediation and Arbitration Studies at Gamey and Gamey Academy in Accra on Friday. The graduates studied managerial mediation, professional mediation, labour arbitration, the labour law, labour management cooperation, interest based bargaining and relationship by objective. He said the global social-economic developments call for the adoption of new mediation and arbitration methodologies to meet the distinct problems that had emerged at workplace otherwise not considered.

The workplace has become insecure; "as new technological changes have resulted in transformation of long-term careers being turned into short-term contracts, part-time and temporary work, as companies restructure the labor force in order to survive. "This lack of job security has also resulted in lack of long-term financial security, workers' dreams of improving lifestyle are being shattered by the uncertainty of the workplace," Mr Gamey stated. He urged labour and management to pool resources together to provide job security, deliver profits, growth and progress, and create an environment to restore confidence of employees and prospective job seekers in dignity.

Mr Joseph A. Aryitey, Chairman of the national Labour Commission (NLC) described grievances or conflict handling as critical component of industrial relations and serves as corporate insurance guarantee for industrial peace between employers and employees.

He therefore urged the new mediation experts to assist in the resolution of the many disputes that are inevitably associated with human interactions in a world plague with conflicts.

He said alternatives to litigation as a dispute settlement mechanism have now become the preferred option for the resolution of conflicts, "it eliminates the adversarial nature of dispute, less time consumption, less expensive and user friendly."

Mr Aryitey said the Labour Act recognizes alternative mediation and arbitration mechanism for dispute resolution and urged the experts to register with the commission. 31 March 06