Mr Abraham Koomson, Secretary-General of the Ghana Federation of Labour (GFL) has called on workers to express interest in activities of their unions and hold their leaders accountable.
“Workers must wake up and deal with the leaders first because if you don’t hold them accountable they will mislead you, as governments during negotiations, look at the capacity of the union and if the leaders are inactive, they will just not attend to your needs,” he stated.
Mr. Koomson who was analyzing the labour front in 2021 and projecting for 2022 at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Industrial News Hub Boardroom Dialogue platform, “asked union leaders to be vibrant for the interest of employees”.
The GNA-Tema Industrial News Hub Boardroom platform serves as a weekly media think-tank platform for state and non-state and commercial operators to communicate to the world on topical issues of national interest.
He said workers must have the courage to take on their leaders who ‘sleep on their mandate’ saying that the workers must critically access individuals’capacity before they elect them into a leadership position, “union leaders must have the skills and integrity to withstand pressure from other fronts”.
He mentioned that some of the unions were not doing well in representing the interest of the workers adding that they were rather in the position for their personal gains.
Leaders of the unions must do whatever they could do to make the industries survive and even though, it is advisable to join a trade union, you must look for a union that can represent your interest, don’t just any union.
The GFL Secretary-General explained that unions were formed by workers themselves adding that, there was no external party that could regulate their activities, as such, it was the responsibility of the workers to elect competent people who could represent and be able to scrutinize their actions.
He cautioned leaders of labour unions to be practical enough to fight for the needs of their members.
Mr Koomson said the Labour Act had consolidated and updated the various pieces of former legislations, and introduced provisions to reflect ratified International Labour Organisation Conventions.
He said it covered all employers and employees except those in strategic positions such as the Armed Forces, Police Service, Prisons Service and the Security Intelligence Agencies.
Mr Koomson identified major provisions of the Labour Act as including; the establishment of public and private employment centres, protection of the employment relations, and general conditions of employment.
Others are; the employment of persons with disability, employment of young persons, employment of women, fair and unfair termination of employment, protection of remuneration, temporary and casual employees.
The rest are the formation of unions, employers’ organisations and collective agreements, strikes, the establishment of a National Tripartite Committee, forced labour, occupational health and safety, labour inspection and the establishment of the National Labour Commission.