2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Ghana

The ITUC affiliates in Ghana are the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) and the Ghana Trades Union Congress (GTUC).

In practice

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Industrial & Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) protested against the lock out and the anti-union behaviour of Crown Holdings Company.11-02-2015

On 27 January 2015, workers at Crown Cans Ghana Limited specialised in the manufacturing of metal packaging for the food industry staged a protest in front of the company gate. Management had, without any preliminary notice, closed the gate. The only information given was a piece of paper left at the gate saying “factory shut until further notice” and undersigned in smaller letters “management”.
For three years the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) had encountered a number of difficulties in organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. its activity in the factory, as well as tough resistance from management. When the union finally succeeded in organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. workers, the company management in retaliation dismissed all the initial union executives. Later, Crown Cans refused to negotiate with the ICU and unilaterally announced the closure of the factory. The union submitted the case to the National Labour Commission (NLC) and as a result Crown Cans was forcedly instructed to negotiate with ICU representatives. Eventually Management, negotiating in bad faith, informed the union that they would have been ready to negotiate only after the removal of the machinery and equipment from the factory. Understandably – based on previous negative experiences – the ICU rejected the proposal. Following the failed negotiation NLC requested the two parties to select mediators/arbitrators to enable dialogue. Only the ICU complied with NLC’s request while the enterprise refused to name a mediator and instead brought cranes into the factory to remove the machinery and equipment.

Sentuo Steel denies its workers the right to freedom of association and exploits them 12-03-2015

Chinese Sentuo Steel Company denies its workers the right to associate and join trade unions. The company management has also misled the Labour union that tried to investigate on the conditions of work, granting that the person with the lowest salary at the company was being paid 1,500 Ghana GHS (345 EUR) while in reality the monthly wages are not higher than 400 GHS (91 EUR) per month. The management failed to increase the wages for the past three years and didn’t implement some essential bonuses and incentives such as risk allowance.

15 workers sacked for attempting to join a trade union16-02-2013

Fifteen workers at Mobicrane Limited, an oil and gas service provider based in Takoradi, have been dismissed for allegedly attempting to join the General Transport and Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) in order to gain bargaining power to negotiate with the company for better service conditions.

Takoradi petroleum workers denied access to unions19-08-2013

The members of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union (GTPCWU) in the Western Region have been harassed and mistreated by foreign oil service companies.

These companies do not want their workers to unionise and are trying to prevent them from joining a trade union using intimidation and even dismissal.

Some companies like African Oil Field Services, have refused to sign a verification form to enable the workers in that company to join a trade union. Abraham Harrison Afful, one of the leaders of the workers, advocating for unionisation of the workers was dismissed without any tangible reasons.

Exclusion of workers from the right to join a union19-08-2013

The Financial, Business and Services Employees Union (FBSEU) submitted the rules and constitution of its Standing Negotiating Committee to the Parliamentary Service Board. The Parliamentary Service Board refused however to register the rules and constitution arguing that workers of the Parliamentary Service did not have the right to join a union. The FBSEU petitioned the National Labour Commission which then asked both parties to sign the rules within 21 days. The Parliamentary Service Board failed to comply with the order and hence the Commission filed an enforcement process in the High Court. The matter is before the courts.

Discrimination against union members and leaders05-06-2012

Jonas Koranteng-Smart from the Union of Industry, Commerce and Finance Workers (UNICOF) affiliated to the Ghana Trades Union Congress was dismissed on 5 June 2012 for sending an email to unionised staff about the discussions of the 38th Annual General Meeting of the Merchant Bank Ghana.

Fifteen workers at Mobicrane Limited, an oil and gas service provider based in Takoradi, were dismissed in February 2013 for attempting to join the General Transport and Petroleum and Chemical Workers Union.

Persistent violations in EPZ31-12-2011

Some employers in the export processing zones (EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. ) have persistently resisted the unionisation of their employees, despite the protection provided by the 2003 Labour Act. Blue Skies Products (Gh) Ltd (a subsidiary of Blue Skies Holdings UK), an EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. fruit processing company that employs over one thousand workers, has consistently refused to recognise its workers’ union the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU).

Employers use court decision to undermine trade union rights31-12-2010

Although freedom of association freedom of association The right to form and join the trade union of one’s choosing as well as the right of unions to operate freely and carry out their activities without undue interference.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework
is protected in law, in practice this is undermined by a 2008 decision of the Accra High Court concerning Ghana Telecommunications Limited (GT) to the effect that employers could hire and fire without giving any reasons for the termination of employment. Mr Kofi Asamoah, secretary general of Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC), warned at the 2009 May Day rally that some employers were using the ruling to get rid of so-called troublesome workers and unionists.

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