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Judicial Council orders JUSAG to adhere to Labour Act

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StrikeThe Judicial Council has ordered the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSSAG) to adhere to the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) and call off the strike while steps are being taken to address their concerns.

“The Judicial Council considers the JUSAG industrial action as disruption of the work of the courts throughout the country and earnestly requests JUSSAG that while the negotiations are ongoing, JUSAG should call off, forthwith, the strike,” it said.

A statement by the Judicial Council to the Ghana News Agency in Accra said there had been negotiations between the Government and JUSAG on the consolidated salary and expressed concern about the strike and its repercussions on adjudication of justice.

“The Judicial Council is deeply concerned that it has taken sometime for the negotiation to be completed and for the grievances of JUSAG to be addressed; the Council has, therefore, impressed on the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations on the need to expedite the resolution of the matter,” the statement said.

It expressed worry that it had taken some time for the negotiations to be concluded although there had been ongoing negotiations between the Government and JUSSAG on the latter’s consolidated salaries.

The Council assured the general public of its resolve to get the Government to play its part to bring a closure to the matter.

“The Judicial council would like to assure the general public that it is doing everything possible to get the Government to do its part to resolve the problem and bring a closure to the matter,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has described as illegal the three-day old JUSAG strike.

Mr Charles Adongo Bawa Duah, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, described the strike as illegal because JUSAG failed to give the NLC prior notice before embarking on the strike.

The Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) section 159 gives notice of intention to resort to strike or lockout; “Where the parties fail to agree to refer the dispute to voluntary arbitration or the dispute remains unresolved at the end of the arbitration proceedings.

“Either party intending to take industrial action or institute lockout shall give written notice of this to the other party and the Commission, within seven days after failure to agree to refer the dispute to voluntary arbitration or the termination of the proceedings.

Mr Duah said Section 160 says “A part to an industrial dispute who has given notice of intention to resort to a strike or lockout under section 159 may do so only after the expiration of the seven days from the date of the notice and not at any time before the expiration of the period.

“If the dispute remains unresolved within seven days from the commencement of the strike or lockout, the dispute shall be settled by compulsory arbitration under section 164”.

Mr Duah said it was clear that JUSSAG had not served any notice so the Commission decided that by failing to notify the appropriate authority, their strike was illegal.

JUSSAG members laid down their tools last Friday over what they claimed were government’s failure to implement the consolidation of salaries and allowances.

JUSSAG embarked on a similar strike in April, which lasted for a day, and was called off after assurances from Mr Haruna Iddrisu, the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, to ensure the quick implementation of their concerns.

Source: GNA

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