The Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has called on Ghanaian workers to take a personal interest in the activities of their unions and hold their leaders and managers accountable based on their collective agreement.
“Workers must wake up and deal with the leaders first because if you don’t hold them accountable, they will mislead you, as governments during negotiations look at the capacity of the union and if the leaders are inactive, they will just not attend to your needs,” he stated.
Mr Abraham Koomson, GFL Secretary-General stated at the Tema Ghana News Agency Industrial News Hub Boardroom platform expressed concern about docile workers who fail to stand for their rights and charged union leaders to be vibrant for the interest of employees.
The GNA-Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom platform serves as a weekly media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial operators to communicate to the world on topical issues of national interest.
He said workers must have the courage to take on their leaders who ‘sleeps on their mandate’ saying that the workers must critically access individuals’ capacity before they elect them to a leadership position, “union leaders must have the skills and integrity to withstand pressure from other fronts.”
According to Mr Koomson, some of the unions were not doing well in representing the interest of their workers.
“Leaders of the unions must do whatever they could do to make the industries survive and even though it is advisable to join a trade union, you must look for a union that can represent your interest, don’t just join any union,” Mr Koomon said.
He explained that unions were formed by workers themselves adding that, there was no external party that could regulate their activities, as such, it was the responsibility of the workers to elect competent people who could represent as well as be able to scrutinize their actions.
He cautioned leaders of labour unions to be practical enough to fight for the needs of their members.
Mr Koomson said the Labour Act has consolidated and updated the various pieces of former legislation and introduced provisions to reflect ratified International Labour Organisation Conventions.
He said the Labour Act covers all employers and employees except those in strategic positions such as the Armed Forces, Police Service, Prisons Service, and the Security Intelligence Agencies.
Mr Koomson identified major provisions of the Labour Act as including the establishment of public and private employment centres, protection of the employment relationship, and general conditions of employment.
Others are the employment of persons with disabilities, employment of young persons, employment of women, fair and unfair termination of employment, protection of remuneration, and temporary and casual employees.
The rest are the formation of unions, employers’ organisations, collective agreements, strikes, the establishment of a National Tripartite Committee, forced labour, occupational health and safety, labour inspection and the establishment of the National Labour Commission.