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 NLC to thrash gov’t petition over striking unions if…

The National Labour Commission may decline jurisdiction on the matter brought before it by government against the striking labour unions.

According to the Executive Secretary of the NLC, Dr Bernice Welbeck,  the commission may adopt  that decision if the case before it is the same as the one in court.

She said; “If the government or employer has gone to court over the same issue and has also filed a petition at the commission, then the commission will decline jurisdiction because it has to be adjudicated at one forum and not two.”

12 labour unions in the country embarked on an indefinite strike action after government failed to transfer their tier two pension contributions into a private account.

Various groups including IMANI Ghana have supported the protest by the 12 labour unions but government has described it as “unlawful” and “unnecessary.”

Although government has assured that the money has not been misused and it is with the Bank of Ghana, it has however refused to disclose the amount involved.

Government has also petitioned the NLC and has resorted to the court to seek further interpretation on what the Pensions Act says about the matter and possibly compel the unions to call off their strike.

But the Executive Secretary of the NLC, Dr Bernice Welbeck speaking to Citi News insisted  that the NLC cannot intervene in a case  that is also pending before a competent court of law because the commission is a lower dispute resolution body.

“The case can’t run concurrently, that is why I’m saying that I don’t know the content of the petition that has been filed before the commission,” she said adding that “definitely since we are inferior to the court we will definitely decline jurisdiction and allow the court to proceed,” she added.

The coordinator of the forum for all the labour unions in Ghana, Raynous Tenkoreng has expressed surprise at the deafening silence from the regulatory body –  National Pensions Regulatory Authority (NPRA).

By: Godwin Allotey Akweiteh/citifmonline.com/Ghana

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