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Regional News of Sunday, 7 February 2021

Source: Samuel Adadi Akapule, Contributor

Stakeholders urge Labour Commission to remain neutral in discharging duties

Participants at a stakeholders forum organized in Bolgatanga of the Upper East Region have called on the Labour Commission to remain neutral when handling and settling of cases between Labour Unions and Employers.

The participants, who said they were very worried and disappointed about the posture of the Labour Commission during settlements of cases between Labour Unions and employers, alleged that hardly have they seen the Labour Commission adjudicating cases in favour of Labour Unions.

The forum which was organized by Action Aid Ghana (AAG) under the multi-country project titled “Zero Violence ”, funded by the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office of the UK Government and being implemented in partnership with Frontline Aids and ActionAid UK, attracted employers from the non-formal sector.

“We all know that as Labour Commission you are appointed as Independent Body and supposed to remain neutral in the dispensation of your duties and not to be taking sides. We are highly disappointed of the action and postures often taken by the Labour Commission during settlements of cases between Labour Union and their employers,” they stressed.

The participants who were of the view that Labour Unions and the general public had lost confidence in the Commission, urged the Commission to reverse the trend by working hard to restore their image and help restore public confidence in them.

“As Independent body, you are not the appendage of one party. You must be seen as neutral in the discharge of your duties and obligations and not seen to be always supporting one side,” the participant stressed.

Reacting to the stakeholders, the Regional Labour Office, Mr Abdulai Salifu, urged Labour Union to endeavour to exhaust all their grievances procedures before resorting to other means to avoid always losing the battle against their employers.

Speaking at the forum, the Programmes Officer of AAG, Mr Yakubu Akuka, said AAG is implementing the project with state institutions, particularly the Labour Department in seven regions in the country namely Upper East, Northern, Bono, Bono East, Greater Accra and Volta regions.

"The purpose of the project is to work with law/policy-makers and civil society organisations to improve protection and increase participation of women and girls (WAG) and other marginalized people especially in the informal workspace by championing existing protective legislation like ILO conventions, the Labour law and Domestic Workers Regulations 2020, strengthening enforcement mechanisms and building capacities to ensure that marginalised people are able to address, report and seek justice against violence in their communities, and workplaces’’, the Programmes Officer stressed.

He explained further that at the regional level, the project seeks to train employers and employees in the informal economy on ILO conventions 183, 189 and 190, the Labour Act 2003 and the Domestic Workers Regulations 2020 and promote the unionization of informal workers.

Mr Akuka who stated that in the wake of COVID-19 the ILO had reported 50 percent of working women faced with occupational violence, especially those in the informal sector, said the UNFPA has also predicted 15 million more cases of violence hence the need for the implementation of the project.

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