BUSAC SUCCESS STORIES

IMPROVING INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS PRACTICE IN GHANA

The ability of the National Labour Commission to settle industrial disputes within the shortest possible time has been identified as one of the key advocacy achievements of the Media and Printing Industry Workers Union of Ghana (MEDIANET).

There is ample evidence that the National Labour Commission is in a stronger position to promptly deal with industrial disputes between employers and employees as NLC's efficiency at settling industrial disputes has improved.

This improvement according to the members of MEDIANET is good for building public confidence in the work of the Commission as more business entities send their petitions to the Commission. "This sends a good signal to potential investors in Ghana, as efficiency in settling industrial disputes significantly impacts the ease of doing business in Ghana," observed Mr. Desmond Sackey, Industrial Relations Consultant of MEDIANET,.

A healthy industrial relations practice will boost productivity and economic growth: Photocredit: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Govt-launches-Labour-Laws-taskforce/-/539550/1150978/-/blyhu6z/-/index.html

A healthy industrial relations practice will boost productivity and economic growth: Photocredit: http://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Govt-launches-Labour-Laws-taskforce/-/539550/1150978/-/blyhu6z/-/index.html

The General Secretary of MEDIANET, Mr. Charles Adjetey Sowah is further delighted that this improvement has addressed one of the long standing impediment, - the slow pace of settling industrial disputes that has frustrated the corporate community in Ghana. "As a result of the union's advocacy action, the NLC's capacity has been so enhanced that it is now able to adjudicate up to 10 or more corporate petitions per week, as compared to hearing a maximum of five petitions per week prior to the advocacy action," Mr. Sowah pointed out.

Mr. Desmond Sackey is also excited about the fact that as result of their advocacy action, the NLC is extending its operations towards other regions in Ghana in order to deal with the large number of pending industrial disputes.

"Today, the NLC is fast expanding its frontiers, as it has now set up three additional regional committees (in Takoradi, Kumasi and Tema) to enable it settle more industrial disputes between workers and corporate bodies across the country." Mr. Sackey pointed out.

Following the successful advocacy action embarked upon by the Media and Printing Industry Workers Union of Ghana (MEDIANET), the NLC is now better equipped with a more befitting office complex, office logistics, and an increased number of full time administrative and technical staff, and this has positively impacted on the NLC's efficiency at settling industrial disputes.

Several workers and employers in Ghana were gradually losing confidence in the NLC, the only institution mandated to deal with labour disputes since a high number of cases reported to the Commission were not promptly addressed because it was not adequately resourced to perform its duties creditably.

Poor industrial relations in Ghana had fuelled industrial unrest and persistent strike actions, resulting in low morale for workers and stagnant national economic development. This challenge prompted the leadership of MEDIANET to seek support from the BUSAC Fund to enable them advocate for sound industrial relations practice in Ghana. As a pro-private sector programme, the BUSAC Fund, with support from its development partners-DANIDA, USAID and the EU, assisted the association by providing a business advocacy grant that enabled them to embark on an advocacy action that has contributed significantly to the improvement of the NLC's performance.

By Ebenezer Kpentey

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