Following some labour unrest issues that have occupied the public space for some time now, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has been busy trying to address the concerning issues of the labour unions. This sometimes sees them in court seeking injunctions to compel striking workers to return to work, just as with UTAG’s case recently.
That effort has created a perception that the NLC always sort to use intimidation to fight labour union’s demands. This perception is what the Commission seeks to clear in the eye of the public and amongst the labour unions themselves.
Mr Ofosu Asamoah, the Executive Secretary of NLC explained that it does not work that way but rather when labour unions are aggrieved and seeking answers from the government there are avenues of negotiations they exploit before finally resorting to the law court.
The goal of the NLC is to have a harmonious industrial relations environment borne out of the firm understanding of, and committed compliance with the Labour Laws by the social partners and stakeholders in industrial relations.
Their core functions include: To facilitate and settle industrial disputes, to investigate labour-related complaints, in particular, unfair labour practices and take such steps as it considers necessary to prevent labour disputes · To maintain a database of qualified persons to serve as mediators and arbitrators and to promote effective labour co-operation between labour and management.
These issues came to bear following the NLC successive withdrawal of a case against the University Teachers Association of Ghana UTAG in the court as they have suspended their strike pending further negotiations with the government to address the issues they raised that caused them to go on the strike.