The National Labour Commission has directed striking workers of the Ghana Community Network Services Limited to call off their strike, with immediate effect.
The industrial action started today, October 9, 2020 after talks on severance package for laid-off staff collapsed.
In a letter addressed jointly to staff and Management of GCNET and signed by Dr Bernice Welbeck, Director of Administration, the strike is against the Labour laws of the country.
It further ordered the workers to appear before the NLC on October 14, 2020, to hear their concerns.
The NLC’s directive follows a complaint filed by the management of GCNet in response to strike by the 50 remaining workers of the company who laid down their tools in solidarity with about 100 of their colleagues who were hacked in an ongoing redundancy exercise by the company.
GCNet has been rocked after the Akufo-Addo government abrogated its Port Management contract and handed it over to a Korean company and its local partner, believed to be a crony of the administration.
The vandalism of the contract had allegedly been masterminded by Senior Minister, Yaw Osafo Maafo who had promised to settle GCNET to the tune of US$120 million if they agree to vacate their contract.
What has really left GCNet in the lurch is that after abrogating the contract, the government has not paid and is said to be showing that it intends not to pay GCNet what is due it. This has thrown the company’s finances into disarray and constrained it to cut staff strength, hence the redundancy.
But there has been misunderstanding between Management and staff over the procedure for the payment of redundancy packages. The Staff Welfare Association to arbitration at the NLC, in which the arbitral award went in favour of the staff.
Management is however challenging the award in court on grounds that the three-member panel overlooked its submission regarding the fact that the association is not a registered union body and therefore has no bargaining certificate to represent the workers.
It is while laid-off workers are agitating over Management’s offering that their colleagues have also laid down their tools in solidarity.