TUC warns Sunon Asogli Power: Reinstate dismissed workers and stop worker abuse or face the music
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) of Ghana’s Secretary-General Bro. (Dr.) Anthony Yaw Baah with its executives have thrown their weight behind the General Secretary Abdul-Moomon Gbana and the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union of TUCG issuing notice to the power producer Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd which has His Royal Majesty Togbe Afede IV as a shareholder and Director to reinstate three of its staff who were dismissed by April 3, 2023, or blame themselves for any actions that the TUC and GMMC takes.
The notice comes as Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd categorized under essential service providers in the Labour Act is said to have wrongfully terminated three local union leaders’ employment, and as if that was not enough, the rest of the unionized workers are being subjected to various acts of intimidation, victimization and abuse by their Chinese bosses and their Ghanaian collaborators.
This has prompted the attention of the TUC of Ghana which has strongly cautioned the Management of Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd to refrain from any further acts of intimidation, fear and panic being unleashed on our members in the company and stop the abuse of the rights their employees who belong to a union.
“We are serving notice and notice is hereby served that if by April 3, 2023, the three local union leaders who have been dismissed are not reinstated and the various acts of intimidation and victimization by Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd have not ceased, the Trades Union Congress (Ghana) and all its affiliate unions shall have no other option but to advise themselves,” Secretary-General of TUC of Ghana Bro. (Dr.) Anthony Yaw Baah stated.
He further noted that “Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd is categorized under essential service providers in the Labour Act. Therefore, we call on the National Labour Commission, the Honorable Minister for Employment & Labour Relations, the Honorable Minister for Energy, the Honorable Minister for National Security and the Honorable Minister for Finance to take keen interest in this matter because, if our demands are not met, we are going to act decisively in accordance with TUC’s fundamental principle that INJUSTICE TO A WORKER ANY WHERE IN GHANA IS INJUSTICE TO ALL GHANAIAN WORKERS EVERYWHERE and the collective actions we will take can have serious consequences for the effective functioning of the entire economy of Ghana.”
In press conference held by the Executive Committee members and leaders of national unions affiliated to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), it was revealed that unionized workers at Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd are facing serious abuses by the company’s management.
The issue has significant implications for the exercise of constitutional rights as Ghanaians and the vision to get all working people in Ghana to join the trade union movement to protect their social and economic interests.
Nearly 70 workers at Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd joined the Ghana Mineworkers’ Union (GMWU) of TUC in February 2021, and GMWU went through all necessary legal processes to acquire a Collective Bargaining Certificate to represent and negotiate with the company on behalf of the unionized workers.
However, the company’s lawyers, Fugah and Company, demanded to know the names of the unionized workers as a condition for recognition of the certificate, which was duly issued by the Chief Labour Officer.
The issue went to the National Labour Commission (NLC), and the Commission directed and ruled twice that the list of the workers’ names was not relevant and that the certificate was legally issued to GMWU. Despite this, the company’s management and lawyers disregarded the Commission’s decisions and have since refused to respond to any correspondence from GMWU.
Due to the company’s intransigence and refusal to comply with sections 102 and 111 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), and its refusal to respond to any correspondence from the union, GMWU served the company with a notice of intention to embark on strike, which was copied to the National Labour Commission.
The Commission summoned the parties to appear before it on March 1, 2023, but the company’s management refused to appear, instead sending a note to inform the Commission that they could not appear because they were appearing before another high court.
In a further development, the company’s management terminated the employment of three of the Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) branch union leaders, including the Union Secretary, the Assistant Secretary, and the Chairperson, on March 2, 2023.
These leaders have not committed any crime or broken any company rules and have only been terminated for joining a trade union and being elected to lead workers at the enterprise level.
The issue at Sunon Asogli Power (Ghana) Ltd has serious implications for constitutional rights to freedom of association, to organize and collective bargaining, and the TUC and all its affiliates are showing solidarity with the unionized workers.
The matter is ongoing, and updates will be provided by NorvanReports as they become available.
Good work done Tuc and it’s affiliates. However, this action taken must go down to all employers as a lot of companies are practicing same. Union leaders expecially in the Construction industry are facing the same problem and some lawyers in the country because of money must be careful as serious action may be taken against them for their being insensitive to workers plight.