General News of Tuesday, 31 October 2006

Source: GNA

Court orders NAGRAT to call off their strike

Accra, Oct. 31, GNA - An Accra Fast Track Court on Tuesday ordered the striking members of the Ghana National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) to call off its eight-week-old strike to return to the classroom.

The court ruled that the President of the NAGRAT, Mr Kwami Alorvi, the vice president and all regional officers of the Association should return to the classrooms and teach.

The ruling followed an application filed by the National Labour Commission (NLC) praying the court to order members of NAGRAT to call off their strike action.

The court, presided over by Mr Richard Asamoah, said NAGRAT should use proper means to achieve its objectives.

"The court will not give room to lawlessness in the country," it ruled.

The Court also asked NAGRAT "to teach according to the laws and their conscience".

NAGRAT said it would appeal to a higher court.

The leadership and members of NAGRAT embarked upon the strike on September 1 to articulate their grievances. The NLC filed a suit on October 11 seeking, among other things, an order under Section 172 of Act 651 of the Labour Act, to compel the leadership in particular, and members of NAGRAT in general, to comply with the Commission's order directing them to call off the illegal strike. Mr Archie Martin Danso Jnr., Attorney for NAGRAT, who responded to the NLC's application, submitted that NAGRAT was not obliged by the labour law to call off its illegal strike.

Mr Danso Jnr. stated: "We contend that the reason the respondent has not indicated that any dispute exists between it and the Ghana Education Service (GES), there is no dispute to warrant compliance with the provisions of Section 159 of the said Labour Act".