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General News of Thursday, 14 November 2019


Judicial Service workers ordered to return to work

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The Judicial Service Secretariat has asked members of the Judicial Service Staff Association (JUSAG) to without delay call of their ongoing strike and return to work.

According to the service, the strike by the Association is illegal hence its order.

Checks by Citi News at some courts in Accra and Kumasi on Wednesday showed the absence of JUSAG members as most courtrooms were not functioning with most lawyers and their clients left stranded.

In a release issued by the Judicial Service, members of the public are being asked to note that courts are opened for business as JUSAG rescinds its decision.

“Management of the Judicial Service has noted with concern, that in spite of the National Labour Commission on the 12th of November 2029 declaring the intended strike of Judicial Service Staff Association (JUSAG) illegal, JUSAG proceeded to embark upon strike action on 13th November 2019. We, therefore, call on all staff of the Judicial Service to report to work with immediate effect.”

“All Judges and Magistrates are also requested to attend to work as usual. Management advises the general public that all courts are functioning and are open for service”, the statement directed.

JUSAG on Tuesday declared an indefinite nationwide strike as a result of what it describes as the government’s failure to review the salaries of its members.

The Association contends that the Judicial Council has also failed to release the report on their negotiations for onward approval by the President.

It charged all its members except security personnel not to show up at work.

JUSAG served notice it will lay down its tools until further notice on November 13, 2019, if salaries of its members are not reviewed.

Even before that, the National Executive Council of JUSAG had asked Judicial Service Staff to put on red-arm bands and hoist red flags in the various courts to have their demands addressed.

Labour Commission to drag JUSAG to court over ‘illegal’ strike

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) says it has begun processes to drag JUSAG to the law court over its strike.

According to the NLC, the industrial action by the group is illegal given that the two parties are already in talks on how to resolve the concerns raised by the judicial workers.

Executive-Secretary of the NLC, Samuel Ofosu Asamoah, said the Commission is resorting to the court because JUSAG has breached sections of the labour laws.

“The action by JUSAG is illegal. By the labour laws, when an action is pending before the commission or even when parties are in negotiations, wearing of armbands is not allowed, not alone strike. So the strike is not only illegal, but they are in contempt of the Commission."

"Because they are in contempt, we will drag them to court and cite them for contempt. In fact, I have directed the legal department to start preparations. [We are taking JUSAG to court] We are citing them for contempt and for more so, if they go on strike, it will be an illegal one.”

He further warned that members of the Association risk losing salaries due them due to unlawful nature of the strike.

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