Don’t pay workers who go on strike – MMDCEs tell gov’t

Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) are calling for an amendment of the Labour Act to make provisions for the withholding of salaries of government workers who go on strike.

They argue strikes over the years have caused huge irrecoverable losses to the country.

The MMDCEs have made a collective request to Local Government Minister, Julius Debrah, to initiate processes for government to amend the law.

According to President of the National Association of Local Government Authority (NALAG) which is an association of all MMDCEs in the country, they are not happy about the huge losses strike cause to government.

Alhaji Mohammed Doku says it is illegal for workers to continue drawing salary from government coffers when they are on strike.

He told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo in an interview: “If you go on strike, don’t expect the state to pay you. That is why the trade unions are there. It is not done anywhere in the world… That is illegal.”

This is not the first time this controversial issue has come up, but now the MMDCEs appear to be pushing for tougher sanctions for workers who embark on strike.

“We should look through the law, if it is not there we should put it there. That once you are on strike and not working, you don’t earn your wages. I am not saying it, it is the good book that says it,” he added.

Alhaji Doku who is also the Municipal Chief Executive for Asunafo North is convinced government workers still receiving salaries while on strike amounts to an infringement on the rights of the tax payer.

“For the workers, that is their right. But we must remember our right must not infringe on the rights of others, it is in the Constitution, article 41 (d),” he told Gakpo.

But in a sharp rebuttal, Deputy General Secretary of the Ghana Medical Association, Lawyer Dr. Justice Yankson insisted strikes are accepted grievance expression procedures provided for in the country’s labour laws and conventions of the International Labour Organisation.

He warned such an amendment to the labour law could be counterproductive because even though government is capable of forcing employees to work, it cannot force them to give off their best. 

 It will be recalled that government has sued 12 labour unions for embarking on a strike recently to demand the release of their tier two pension scheme.

Government is seeking an order to restrain them from embarking on another strike. The court has set December 16 to rule on the case.  

This article has 0 comment, leave your comment.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login