3 – Regular 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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Gold Fields Ghana Limited undermines collective bargaining over planned mass retrenchments22-12-2017

Despite having secured substantial fiscal incentives under the Development Agreement signed with the government of Ghana by Gold Fields Ghana Limited in 2016, at the end of 2017 the company announced its decision to move from owner mining to contract mining, and to retrench the majority of its workforce at its Tarkwa and Damang mines. Although in case of planned redundancies both the collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
agreement signed by Gold Fields as well as the Labour Act of Ghana oblige the company to provide detailed information to trade unions as to the reasons and the exact number of all affected workers and to consult with trade unions on alternatives to redundancies and mitigation tactics, no meaningful consultations have taken place. Gold Fields failed to respond to arguments raised by the Trades Unions Congress (TUC) and Ghana Mining Workers Union (GMWU) that questioned the substance of economic reasons given by the company to justify the move to the contract mining model and mass retrenchments. Moreover, at the end of December 2017, Gold Fields unexpectedly raised the number of retrenched workers from previously communicated 1,500 to 2,150 out of the total workforce of 2,516. So far, Gold Fields has not consulted with the unions regarding any alternative or mitigation measures.

Mantrac continues to manipulate trade union dues24-05-2017

Since 2015, workers of Mantrac had been trying to join the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) and leave the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU). Workers first presented their resignation letters to the ICU in August 2015. Mantrac management continued to deduct their union dues and transfer them to the ICU until in 2016 workers embarked on a two-hour strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
, leading to the dismissal of 69 workers. On 10 January 2017, workers re-sent their resignation letters by DHL post to the ICU, with a copy to Mantrac management, the GMWU and to the National Labour Commission. However, on 24 May workers received their May salary slips which again indicated deduction of ICU fees. The GMWU condemned the impunity of Mantrac and highlighted the management’s tactics of using workers’ legitimate protests as pretext for dismissals. The GMWU announced its taking the case back to the National Labour Commission.

TV3 dismisses 32 union members for demanding better welfare conditions28-02-2017

On 28 February 2017, TV3 Company Limited handed notification of immediate disciplinary dismissal to 32 of its workers – trade union members - for taking part in “illegal industrial action industrial action Any form of action taken by a group of workers, a union or an employer during an industrial dispute to gain concessions from the other party, e.g. a strike, go-slow or an overtime ban, or a lockout on the part of the employer. ” by wearing red bands to work. TV3 accused workers of unfair labour practice, intimidation of the management, gross misconduct aimed at disrupting the business of the company and bringing the company into disrepute. The same day heavy police escort called on by the management expelled dismissed workers from the company’s premises. The management of TV3 and the workers had been in long drawn-out negotiations on end-of-service benefits for staff. The last meeting took place on 7 February, and the management has refused to negotiate since then. The Public Services Workers Union of TUC Ghana condemned the dismissal of the workers and announced a series of pickets at the premises of TV3 to take place in April.

Thirteen workers of the Ghana National Gas Company dismissed, thirty-two suspended for engaging in a strike 26-09-2016

On 26 September 2016, 13 workers of the Ghana National Gas Company were dismissed and 32 were suspended for engaging in a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
organised by the local branch of the General Transport, Petroleum and Chemical Workers’ Union (GTPCWU) to protest against bad working conditions and insufficient occupational safety in the company. On 14 September, only a few days before these dismissals and suspensions occurred, the Company had pledged to avoid discriminatory behaviour against protesting workers during a meeting with the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations, thus breaking its word shortly after.

Workers in Mantrac Ghana obliged to remain affiliated to yellow union14-12-2016

In August 2016, the management of Matrac Ghana dismissed around 70 workers because they withdrew from the Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) and affiliated to the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU). Following the dismissal, the workers had the possibility to apply for their previous jobs only if they agreed to sign an obligation forbidding them to engage in a strike strike The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.

See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike
for a period of 6 months. The issue was addressed by the National Labour Commission, which on 14 December 2016 decided that the workers could re-submit their resignation letters from the ICU. The management reacted by threatening workers with another wave of dismissals.

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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