General News of Saturday, 21 February 2015
The National Labour Commission (NLC) says it will soon deal sternly with feuding parties in the labour front if they fail to appear before the Commission to thrash out their misgivings and complaints.
The NLC insists, it will not allow any labour union or government institution to undermine its authority. Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Bernice Welbeck made this known in an interview with TV3’s Labour Correspondent, Daniel Opoku.
The NLC has since last year come under severe criticism for failing to enforce its rulings.
Most labour unions and government institutions have chastised the commission for not being pro-active in resolving problems but rather just issuing statements that describe strikes as illegal and unlawful
That notwithstanding, the NLC has indicated plans to drag parties to court if they fail to appear before it for hearing. The Commission indicated plans of giving a second chance for parties to appear, but would not allow any union or institution to undermine its authority
“If the Commission is able to establish that indeed you were given all the opportunity with all the facts and the evidence and then you did not take advantage of that, then you have to face the consequences. You could have a good case and sound reasons why certain actions are taken, but until you come to talk about it and defend it, it will be difficult for the Commission to know why you reacted in that manner”
A Labour Expert, Opanin Obeng Fosu also asked unions and government to respect Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) to avert labour agitations.
“It should have been your negotiation, your mediation or arbitration and that settles the case. But at times, the Government which is the employer sits with the workers to agree on certain things but mostly the agreements reached are not complied with”.
Meanwhile, the Commission has introduced a document titled ‘Settlement of Industrial Disputes’, Practice and Challenges under the Labour Act 2003, Act 651, to regulate activities of parties.