President John Dramani Mahama has charged the Trade Union Congress (TUC) to immediately resolve the agitations within the labour front which have led to some unions breaking away from the mother unions.
Workers of the Ghana Cocoa Board (COCOBOD) last Friday announced that the company had broken away from its mother union, the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU), explaining that they took the decision because all efforts aimed at uniting the two groups over labour related issues have proved futile.
But speaking at this year’s May Day celebration at Wa in the Upper West Region, President Mahama said TUC must ensure that the issue is resolved amicably.
“Recent disagreements on the labour front have created cause for concern for comrades and partners of organized labour. While government cannot interfere in union affairs, as a social democrat and a comrade I cannot help but express my agitation at the recent event unfolding that affect two of our greatest unions, the ICU and GAWU.”
He said though government cannot prevent the unions from breaking away because “our national Constitution guarantees freedom of association,” President Mahama said such situation reduces the bargaining power of the unions.
“…On the basis that in the recent past, many unions have splinted with breakaway forming their own new organizations. This right while inalienable in our constitution must also be exercised with caution less we weaken worker solidarity and end up with smaller ineffective workplace unions. It is my hope that the TUC working with her other tripartite partners can bring an amicable solution to this current dispute.”
Meanwhile, the ICU and the General Agriculture Workers Union (GAWU) have vowed to prevent workers of the COCOBOD from carrying out their threat.
“This is a union governed by regulations. We do our things in accordance with the constitution of Ghana. We go by the labour laws of this country and we will not allow anybody to take Ghanaian workers for granted,” General Secretary of GAWU, Kinsley Ofei-Nkansah stated in an interview.
By: Godwin A. Allotey/citifmonline.com/Ghana