Mr Hezron Njuguna, International Labour Organisation (ILO) Employers’ Specialist for Africa, has called on employers to develop their negotiations and communications skills in an effort to stem industrial disputes before they escalate into conflicts.
This, he said, would not only boost and build industrial trust between workers and management but also minimize the workload of the National Labour Commission (NLC).
Mr Njuguna, who was speaking at the launch of a workshop on the settlement of industrial disputes on Wednesday, noted that disputes could have unpleasant effect on organizational growth and development if not managed properly.
The workshop, which was organized by the Ghana Employers’ Association, was to provide the required framework and appropriate strategies to promote sound and healthy working relationship at the enterprise level.
He expressed concern about the high rate of industrial conflicts in Africa coupled with high rate of unemployment, especially among the youth.
Mr Njuguna called on employers to put in place strategies to ensure the growth of their businesses as poor performances eventually led to poor condition of service, one of the main causes of industrial unrest.
“Disputes are natural phenomenon which are always bound to happened but how we handle them when they come should be of prime concern to us,” he said.
He appealed to employers to adopt mechanisms whereby disputes could be quickly resolved to stop the challenges that accompanied them.
Mr Joseph Ayittey, Chairman, NLC, expressed concern about instances where some employees and employers were ignorant about some of the rules and regulations concerning labour in the country.
“It is interesting to note that a lot of our employers and employees alike are not aware of some of the labour laws. It is only when they come to NLC that they get to know of some of our labour laws for the first time,” he said.
He appealed to employers to hold regular interactions with their staff to enable both sides air their grievances and expectations.