The National Labour Commission (NLC) on Thursday directed Government and the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) embroiled in protracted labour disputes “to cease all media engagement forthwith”.
“The GMA should also take immediate steps to call off the strike,” a statement signed by Dr Bernice A. Welbeck, NLC acting Executive Secretary to the Ghana News Agency in Accra stated.
The Commission said within its mandate to facilitate the settlement of industrial disputes, it was giving the two parties between Thursday August 20, and Monday August 24 to resume negotiations and report to the Commission by 1600 hours on Monday August 24, 2015.
The statement explained that NLC have met representatives of Government made up of the Ministries of Health, Employment and Labour Relations, the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission and Ghana Health Service on the one hand and the GMA on the other hand.
The Commission in settling an industrial dispute, have the powers of the High Court in respect of enforcing the attendance of witnesses and examining them on oath, affirmation or otherwise.
In respect of proceedings the Commission enjoys the same privileges and immunities pertaining to proceedings in the High Court.
The Commission also has the compelling powers to direct parties to produce documents.
Section 138 (1) of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) mandates NLC to facilitate the settlement of industrial disputes; to 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.
The Labour Act also mandates the Commission to maintain a data base of qualified persons to serve as mediators and arbitrators; to promote effective labour co-operation between labour and management; and to perform any other function conferred on it under the Act or any other enactment.
The Act also insulates the NLC from the control or direction of any person or authority in the exercise of its adjudicating and dispute settlement Function.
The Labour Act also empowers the Commission to receive complaints from workers, trade unions, and employers, or employers’ organization on industrial disagreement; an allegation of infringement of any requirements of this Act and Regulations made under the Act.
It also has the authority to demand an employer to furnish information and statistics concerning the employment of its workers and the terms and conditions of their employment in a form and manner the Commission considers necessary.
The Labour Act also enjoins to require a trade union or any workers’ organization to provide such information it considers necessary.
Notify employers and employers’ organizations or workers and trade unions in cases of contravention of this Act and Regulations made under this Act and direct them to rectify any default or irregularities. GNA