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21.09.2005 General News

NLC will not be a toothless bulldog - Aryitey

By GNA

Takoradi, Sept. 21, GNA - The National Labour Commission (NLC) established to deal fairly and promptly with labour disputes to ensure sustained industrial harmony is not a toothless bulldog, says Mr Joseph A. Aryitey, the Commission's chairman.

He said while the Commission had enough powers to deal with all kinds of labour disputes and unrests to enhance growth, it would require the support of organised labour, employers and the government to make it succeed.

Mr Aryitey said these when he and some members of the Commission interacted with social partners at a forum in Takoradi on Wednesday. Representatives of the Association of Ghana Industries, Ghana National Association of Teachers, Civil Servants Association, Judicial Service Association of Ghana and the Trades Union Congress were among those who attended the forum.

The creation of the NLC as the result of the new labour law, Mr Aryitey said was part of the efforts of the social partners to secure for the country a labour market in which "the players will cooperate and have mutual respect for their rights and responsibilities". He mentioned stability in labour relations, maintenance of human dignity in labour relations, the creation of flexible labour market and equity and social protection as some of the principle under the new labour law.

Mr Aryitey said this would bring together the existing enactments on labour in conformity with the Constitution and the several International Labour Organisation conventions to which Ghana is a signatory.

The Commission had received some 180 complaints from individuals, organisations and organised labour since its establishment in April this year.

The NLC Chairman said these complaints bordered on non-payment of the correct minimum wage, wrongful dismissals and non-payment of salaries among others.

Mr Aryitey commended the Executive Secretary of the Civil Servants Association, who was reported to have accepted the NLC to mediate in a dispute between the Association and the government over salaries of its members.

Mr Kwasi Danso Acheampong, Deputy Chairman of the Commission appealed to the social partners to discard the old ways of solving industrial disputes and have confidence in the Commission, which he described as unique.

He entreated parties in disputes to be frank, honest and adopt good faith in negotiations and arbitrations to avoid disorder. "If we allow the Commission and the law to work for us we will realise how expeditious it can be", he stressed. He assured social partners that the Commission's work had been structured in such a way that appeals and complaints would be dealt with expeditiously.

Mr David Yaro, Western Regional Coordinating Director expressed the hope that the new labour law would bring to the minimum incidents of labour unrests and their attendant destruction, and loss of man-hours. 21 Sept. 05

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