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General News of Sunday, 16 November 2008

Source: GNA

TUC concerned over workers' dismissal due to unionism

Tamale, Nov. 16, GNA - Mr Kofi Asamoah, Secretary General of the Ghana Trade Union Congress (GTUC), has expressed worry over the increasing spate of dismissals of workers who try to form unions at their work places.

He said over the last few weeks there had been the unlawful dismissal of the local union chairman of the Pro-Credit company and earlier on the dismissals of other union leaders at other work places including the Bank of Ghana.

Mr Asamoah said this in a speech read for him at the 22nd Biennial Delegates Congress of the Ghana Commercial Bank employees of the GTUC in Tamale on Sunday.

The Congress was on the theme: "Achieving GCB's strategic corporate objectives; the role of good industrial relations practice". Me Asamoah emphasised that these development had serious debilitating effects on industrial relations if they were allowed to escalate to such levels and reiterated that workers and employers had the collective responsibility to ensure industrial harmony. He said although management had the prerogative to set corporate strategic objectives to guide the conduct of business, it was clear that the objectives could not be achieved without resources, more especially human capital.

"To all intents and purposes human capital is more important than all the other resources. Indeed human beings are the fulcrum around which work revolves and are therefore indispensable to the success of any organisation", Mr Asamoah said. Mr Asamoah reminded managements that when setting their strategic objectives they should also put in place measures that would enhance the peaceful co-existence between them and the workers. Mr Asamoah commended GCB for adding more branches to serve its customers nationwide and hoped this would also create more jobs to solve the unemployment problem.

Mr Ismail Kamil, National Chairman of the GCB employees union recalled that a few years ago the nation seemed to have lost confidence in GCB when government had wanted to put it on sale. "But it is refreshingly delightful to stand here today and to say emphatically that, selling or taking-over of GCB by a strategic investor has paled into oblivion and no longer an option." he said. He announced that the bank now had 145 branches country-wide and all networked with a wide range of Information Communication Technology (ICT) based products.

Mr Kamil said that most employers failed to acknowledge sound industrial relations as a key cornerstone for the achievement of corporate goals and relegated it to the background only for it to gain prominence when there was agitation or industrial unrest. He said, to encourage employees' self motivation, there was the need for a conducive working environment and motivational packages such as promotions and self actualization. "More importantly employees need supervisors, who are not just managers but leaders as well. Managers who are leaders usually ensure good workplace culture and promote rapport among staff they supervise," Mr Kamil said.

Alhaji Mustapha Ali Idris, Northern Regional Minister said the establishment of more banking institutions in Tamale Metropolis was an indication of the peace and conducive atmosphere that businesses needed to thrive in the region. He said the region had a great potential in agriculture and tourist industries and urged the banks to consider investing in those areas.

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