General News of Friday, 30 January 2015
The Bank of Ghana is asking an Industrial and Labour Court to throw out a request by 12 labour unions demanding full disclosure of their tier two pension funds.
Lawyer for the bank, Samuel Cudjoe, told the court on Thursday the unions do not have the power to make such demands.
He argued the Bank of Ghana as a depository, is only answerable to the employer that is, Government, and therefore the workers have no such powers to make that demand.
His comments appear to be the new twist to the tale of the tier two pension tussle between the labour unions and Government.
The unions have kicked against government’s appointment of a trustee to manage their tier two pension funds.
In protest, the workers embarked on a strike which saw hospitals and schools vacated for several weeks.
It took a court action by Government to stop the workers from continuing with the strike.
Apart from asking the court to declare the strike as illegal, Government also prayed the court to make a pronouncement on whether or not, as the employer, it had the power to appoint trustees to manage the tier two pension scheme.
The workers also appeared in court but with a different strategy. They are dragging the Bank of Ghana as well as the National Pensions Regulatory Authority to appear before the court to answer specific questions relating to their roles in the management of the tier two pension scheme.
The workers’ tier two pension funds are lodged temporarily at the Central Bank and the Labour unions want to know exactly how much is lodged in there, as they suspect that account to be empty.
They want the Bank of Ghana to disclose without delay, the amount of money accrued to the tier two pension account.
But the Bank of Ghana would have none of that.
Joy News’ Fred Smith who was in court reported the lawyer of Bank of Ghana as saying the workers had no business dragging the Bank into the matter, let alone to ask it to disclose the tier two pension funds accrued to the Bank.
He said the unions are abusing the court process by their attempt to drag them into the matter.
Justice Saeed Kwaku Gyan adjourned sitting to next Monday, a time when lawyers for the unions will make the case for the Central Bank and the NPRA to be joined in the suit.
Dr. Justice Yankson, a member of the legal team of the unions informed JoyNews the unions will make a strong case on Monday for the Central Bank to be joined to the suit.