The National Labour Commission (NLC) has given the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) a 14-day ultimatum to reverse its decision to strike out some allowances of workers of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) and restore all deductions made from their salaries.
The unionised staff of the GBC are up in arms with the FWSC’s directive to rule out some allowances they were enjoying.
The NLC, in a hearing of a complaint tabled before it by the FWSC over threats by the staff of the GBC to embark on a strike in demand of their allowances, described the FWSC’s directive as unlawful.
Reacting to the NLC’s directive, General Secretary of the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU), Bernard Adjei, said he believes the directive, when met, will avert any further unrest.
“What Fair Wages has done is to flex its muscles to unilaterally take away allowances that were duly negotiated which is protected under the constitution of this country as well as the Labour Act/
“So if they have issues with the allowances, it has been negotiated. It has been there, it is only for them to write to us to review these allowances. When we have an agreement, then we move from there. But the Labour Law frowns on what they have done. So we think the Commission has done well, so we believe that Fair Wages will go by the directive,” he added.
There has been an impasse between workers of GBC and the FWSC in the past few weeks after the latter, through the Controller and Accountant General’s Department, stopped the payment of allowances to some workers of GBC.
Workers of the GBC earlier petitioned the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations and the Ministry of Information, as a matter of urgency, to ask the Chief Executive Officer of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) to reverse the directive to block their allowances.
In a joint petition signed by the GBC Divisional Union and Senior Management Staff Union to the two ministries, the Chairman of the Unions, Sam Nat Kevor, said:
“In conclusion, the Unions humbly request your good offices to call the CEO of the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission to order and ask him to reverse the illegal directive.
“The Fair Wages and Salaries Commission has written to the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to stop the payment of some allowances enjoyed by GBC workers. The Unions are of the considered opinion that this directive is not grounded in law and is, therefore, illegal. We find the decision very detestable on the grounds that it contravenes the 1992 Constitution and the Labour Law, Act 651 of 2003. This stance of the Unions is informed by the following:”
The workers of GBC were also hopeful that the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations would prevail on the CAGD to restore the allowances, describing the removal as a violation of natural justice.
“We also pray that you use your good offices to prevail on the Controller and Accountant General’s Department to restore the allowances because the removal is a violation of natural justice as spelt out in the 1992 Constitution. It is also a grievous offence to the Labour Law, Act 651,” GBC workers appealed.