The Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) of the Trades Union Congress, has appealed to the National Labour Commission (NLC), to bring the management of Pollution to Water (P2W), an Israeli company, to order for resisting attempts by the workers to unionise.
Making the appeal in a statement signed by Eric K. Gyima, Deputy General Secretary of GMWU to the Ghana News Agency at the weekend, the Union said although for over a year now, workers of P2W had used legitimate means to unionise, the management of the company continued to put impediments in their way.
The P2W is a contracting firm in the mining sector, which employs a technology that treats polluted water and recycles it back to the mines for mining operations. It currently has offices in Obuasi, Tarkwa and Bogoso.
“While the GMWU lauds P2W for introducing such an important technology into the mining sector, it does not mean that the management should disregard the country’s labour law, which seeks to ensure that there is industrial harmony,” the GMWU stated.
The appeal, which also goes to the National Security Council, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Lands and Natural Resources, said when the GMWUN sent a petition to the Office of the Chief Labour Officer at the NLC, letters were written to the company on two occasions inviting its management for a meeting in Accra, but they failed to attend.
It said they had since not given any reason or excuse for their failure to honour the Chief Labour Officer’s invitation.
“The Office of the Chief Labour Officer again wrote to both GMWU and P2W with an ultimatum that the two parties should meet in terms of the classification for the bargaining certificate, but still the company refused to turn up,” the GMWU said in the statement, which it also attached copies of the letters and other related correspondents from the Union to management (P2W).
“The GMWU would like to indicate that the anti-union posture by the management of P2W has the potential to degenerate into an unpleasant labour agitation by the workers. This obviously will not auger well for an otherwise harmonious and stable industrial relations in the mining sector.”
“The GMWU is demanding that the relevant state institutions take decisive action in enforcing the provision of the labour law, especially, those relating to unionization by Ghanaian workers particularly in the mining sector.”
Accordingly, the GMWU said it was ready to employ and deploy every means available including strikes to compel the company to respect the workers’ fundamental right to unionise.