4 July, 2023The Trades Union Congress (TUC) Ghana, a federation to which 23 unions are affiliated is calling for a national strike on 10 July to protest union bashing after three union leaders were unfairly dismissed at Sunon Asogli Power Ghana Limited in March.
TUC Ghana want the local union leaders who include a chairperson, secretary, and assistant secretary, to be reinstated. The union leaders are from IndustriALL Global Union affiliate the Ghana Mine Workers Union (GMWU) which is also a member of the TUC Ghana.
The National Labour Commission, whose responsibilities include investigating and settling labour disputes, agrees with the unions that the dismissals were not justified according to the law. The commission has taken the matter to the High Court to enforce the directive that it issued for the workers to be reinstated. However, unions have said if there is no speedy resolution the strike will continue.
“Workers’ rights are human rights, and they must be respected, protected, and always promoted. Employers including Sunon Asogli must not be allowed to violate workers’ rights. The government must enforce labour laws to protect workers' rights to form and join a union of their choice,”
said Abdul-Moomin Gbana general secretary of the GMWU.
Yaw Baah, TUC Ghana secretary general said:
“The organized labour of Ghana finds the actions of Sunon Asogli Power a violation of fundamental rights of the workers guaranteed under the Constitution of Ghana (1992), the Labour Act (2003), and International Labour Organization Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the right to organize) and 98 (Right to organize and collective bargaining) which are ratified by Ghana.”
“IndustriALL supports the collective job and applauds the unity of the trade unions in Ghana as expressed in the strike call being endorsed by 22 of the 23 affiliates of the TUC Ghana and is appalled by the unfair dismissals and violations of national labour laws and international labour standards. We concur with TUC Ghana that Sunon Asogli Power’s violations of fundamental rights at work threaten the gains that have been made by the Ghanaian labour movement. However, as the issue is before the National Labour Commission, we continue to support dialogue that will result in a favourable outcome for the dismissed union leaders and the workers,”
said Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary.
Sunon Asogli is an independent power producer that is jointly owned by Chinese multinational companies, the Shenzhen Group and the China Africa Development Fund who hold 60 and 40 per cent shares respectively. Sunon Asogli produces electricity from natural gas-powered thermal power station at Kpone that it supplies to the state-owned Ghana Electricity Company.