Regional News of Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Source: GNA

Labour Commission settles over 140 cases

Mrs Bernice Welbeck, Acting Executive Officer of National Labour Commission (NLC), on Tuesday, said the Commission had received 370 complaints from aggrieved workers from January and Mid-May.

She said out of the 370 complaints, the Commission was able to settle 148 cases, representing 40 per cent.

Mrs Welbeck, who was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at a two-day workshop on Labour Mediation and Arbitration, said the remaining complaints are still going through the resolution process.

The workshop, which was attended by Alternative Disputes Resolution Practitioners, Arbitrators and Mediators on labour related issues, also attracted participants from the Trades Union organisations, Employers and Employment Agencies.

She said on the average, the Commission receives a minimum of 20 cases a day and assured the public that the personnel would work assiduously to clear the backlog.

She, therefore, appealed to workers to desist from embarking on strike and rather approach the NLC for redress.

“The NLC is there for both employers and employees, and they both must feel free to come to the Commission to resolve their differences instead of embarking on...strikes,” she added.

Mr Fiddelis Patrice Seddoh, Legal Practitioner, Mediator/Arbitrator, speaking on “Industrial Dispute: Voluntary Arbitration,” said an Arbitrator needs to examine the relevance of materials of the dispute and evidence before giving an award.

He said arbitrators have to be independent minded to enable them to give good judgement because if the right law is not followed the award could be challenged at the High Court.

He said ADR is the best means of resolving workplace disputes and encourages both employers and employees to adopt the process to bring peace to their work places.

During an open discussion, the participants expressed worry about the way some companies discriminate against casual and temporary workers and urged the NLC to come out with a clear guideline on outsourcing models.

They said some companies are adamant in the payment of Social Security benefits and leave the decision to workers to make, which is contrary to the labour law.

They, therefore, recommended that employing agencies should incorporate in their proposals considerations that could enhance the remuneration of casual and temporary workers before they go to the negotiation table.

Mr Napoleon Kpoh, former Secretary General of Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, said workers who are outsourced to other companies still have a contract with their employing company and could go back anytime their contract expire or if their services are no more needed.

On Social Security, he said, Social Security Law enjoins all employers to pay social security for their workers – whether casual or temporary and urged employers to be conscious about that aspect of the law.