The Ghana Community Network Services (GCNet) company has been told that it must pay staff who are being retrenched because of the government’s abrogation of the company’s Port Management contract with the State.
GCNet was told by the National Labor Commission that its petition for a review of an arbitration ruling that compels it to pay its retrenched staff redundancy packages cannot be granted and therefore the company must pay the workers that have become redundant because of the vandalism of its contract by the Akufo-Addo government.
Interestingly, when the NLC was dismissing a GCNet petition that had been filed through the company’s Labor Consultant, Austin Gamey of Gamey and Gamey Associates, the Akufo-Addo government had not paid the GCNet the compensation that it ought to pay it for abrogating its contract and awarding it to a Korean company and its local collaborator.
Senior Minister Yaw Osafo Marfo is reported to be the main hatchet man in cancelling GCNET’s valid contract.
According to reports, the government may have to cough up a whopping US$120million in judgment debt for GCNet for abrogating the port services contract that ought to have run till 2023 and giving it to the Customs UNIPAS International Agency (CUPIA) of the Korea Customs Services (KCS).
The money has not been paid but workers of the company who have been rendered redundant because of the abrogation of contract are demanding that they be paid their redundancy packages.
GCNet has argued that per company Human Resource policy, redundancy packages are supposed to be paid under collective agreement, but the Staff Association was not a registered labour union and hence per the Labour Act, 2003, it could not enter into a collective agreement with the company.
Besides, the company pointed out that after abrogating its contract, the Akufo-Addo government has refused to pay the necessary compensation putting it in a difficult financial situation.
GCNet, therefore, asked for a renegotiation of the redundancy package. However, the workers refused, leading to a dispute and arbitration with the NLC. The NLC ruled that the GCNet had no choice but to pay the workers the redundancy packages as prescribed in their HR policy.
It was against this arbitration award that the GCNet, through Gamey and Gamey had petitioned the NLC to review, but the NLC replied that it did not have the power to review an arbitration award and so GCNet must pay.