The Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) has admitted to wrongfully suspending its General Secretary, John Esiape.
A letter dated July 15, 2016 and addressed to the Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission (NLC), stated that “the Management Committee of UNICOF erred by suspending the General Secretary, John Esiape.”
Portions of the document which has been sighted by Citi Business News read, “We hereby accept that we misdirected ourselves and changed the complainant’s interdiction to suspension.”
It added,“We shall therefore take the necessary steps to reverse the suspension to interdiction.”
This comes after the lawyer for John Esiape, Prof. Kenneth Agyeman Attafuah in June, petitioned the NLC over the wrongful application of the regulations on the interdiction and illegal suspension of his client.
Citi Business News also understands that according to the union’s own regulations, no person or a member of the union would be interdicted beyond six (6) months.
Even though UNICOF has agreed to withdraw the suspension, its Chairman, Alex Nyarko – Opoku insists that “there is nothing in the complainant’s conditions of service which can restrain any governing body or bodies of UNICOF from initiating disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Esiape.
The union insist that,“where allegations against is of such a grievous nature and investigations are long to conduct, then the six (6) months would not apply”.
Persons with knowledge on the matter tell Citi Business News John Esiape’s suspension follows the alteration of a document by UNICOF’s accountant, who during investigations revealed he was given the go ahead to make the amendments by the General Secretary.
UNICOF must prove allegations
John Esiape in an earlier interview with Citi Business News dared the union to produce evidence to prove allegations of malfeasance it levelled against him.
“These are allegations and I am saying that, he who alleges must prove. So if they produce things to prove, they should bring it to our attention but as far as the processes are concerned,I am yet to be confronted with anything that is proof enough of my guilt,” he remarked.
Mr. Esiape further intimated he will hurl the union to court over his suspension as he believes the interdiction and suspension is an infringement on his rights.
“I have already informed my lawyers on going to court and they are going to advice on the way forward…The impact of that slanderous publication cannot be addressed unless we to go to court and we will be heading there soon.”
UNICOF dragged to NLC over General Secretary’s suspension
Earlier, the Vice Chairman of the Tema region of UNICOF, Isaac Bondorin dragged the union to the NLC describing the suspension of Mr. Esiape as a wrongful application of the union’s constitution.
He argued among other things possible judgment debts or a complete collapse of the union following the act by the management of the union.
“I cannot allow the constitution of the union to be handled any how or manipulated for the advantage of certain people that is why I’m taking this action…As a member of UNICOF I’m duty bound to protect the interest of UNICOF and that is exactly what am doing,” he observed.
By: Norvan Acquah-Hayford/citibusinessnews.com/Ghana