ICU backs calls for permanent status for commissioners of NLC

By Bright Kofi Agamah.

The Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union, ICU-Ghana, has welcomed suggestions for Commissioners of the National Labour Commission, NLC, to be given permanent status. According to the union, the part-time status of the Commissioners has been affecting the speedy adjudication of grievances and disputes.

It said the part-time Commissioners who sit on cases only once a week, resulting in backlog of cases has indeed been grievously affecting the dispensation of justice both to workers and employers, and creating rancorous relations between social partners at the workplace, negatively impacting productivity to the detriment of the national economy. The ICU expressed worry that, the National Labour Commission, NLC, which is one of the tailor-made institutions mandated to adjudicate labour grievances and disputes, has been under resourced and the inadequacy of the sitting session of the part-time Commissioners has left a backlog of cases unattended to by the Commission.

The union, therefore, associates itself with the concerns expressed by the Executive Secretary of the NLC on the status of the Commissioners as part-timers which reflects in the inadequacy of their sitting sessions.

Ghana’s labour landscape replete with grievances or disputes

A statement issued and signed by the newly elected ICU General Secretary, Mr. Morgan Ayawine, pointed out that “Ghana’s labour landscape is replete with grievances or disputes between workers and employers which need expeditious resolution to ensure industrial peace and harmony at the workplace.

The ICU-Ghana said being the largest heterogeneous trade union organization with membership in more than 700 companies and organizations, it has numerous unresolved grievances and disputes at the enterprise level, making the union a regular patron of the services of the National Labour Commission with the attendant inadequacy of the sitting sessions by the Part-time Commissioners.

To address these challenges, the ICU-Ghana strongly support calls for the appointment of permanent Commissioners for the National Labour Commission to enable them to adjudicate on labour related issues brought before the commission on daily basis, so that justice could be dispensed to aggrieved parties on time, as justice delayed, is justice denied.

Government asked to absorb Mediators and Arbitrators Fees for Some Complainants

Similarly, the ICU supports the NLC Executive Secretary’s appeal to the government to absorb the fees and charges of mediators and arbitrators, since some complainants are unable to afford it, thus denying them justice. This will help complainants to seek justice at the Commission in a fast-track manner. The ICU urged colleagues in the labour fraternity, as well as the Ghana Employers Association, as a social partner, to contribute towards the empowerment of the National Labour Commission, so that it will deliver effectively for the mutual good of workers and employers.

It also called for speedy action to enable the National Labour Commission to have its own office premises which could accommodate all the proposed permanent Commissioners when appointed, to ensure efficient and effective service delivery to the nation.

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