The National Labour Commission (NLC) says it has begun processes to drag the Judicial Service Staff Association of Ghana (JUSAG) to the law court over its strike.
According to the NLC, the industrial action by the group which begins today, Wednesday, is illegal given that the two parties are already in talks on how to resolve the concerns raised by the judicial workers.
JUSAG on Tuesday declared an indefinite nationwide strike as a result of what it describes as the government’s failure to review the salaries of its members.
The Association contends that the Judicial Council has also failed to release the report on their negotiations for onward approval by the President.
But the Executive-Secretary of the NLC, Samuel Ofosu Asamoah, who spoke on Eyewitness News said the Commission is resorting to the court because JUSAG has breached sections of the labour laws.
“The action by JUSAG is illegal. By the labour laws, when an action is pending before the commission or even when parties are in negotiations, wearing of armbands is not allowed, not alone strike. So the strike is not only illegal, but they are in contempt of the Commission. Because they are in contempt, we will drag them to court and cite them for contempt. In fact, I have directed the legal department to start preparations. [We are taking JUSAG to court] We are citing them for contempt and for more so, if they go on strike, it will be an illegal one.”
He further warned that members of the Association risk losing salaries due them due to unlawful nature of the strike.
“The government will not pay for any illegal strike. The law provides that where a strike is illegal, the declarer of the strike should be ready to pay the salaries, allowances or whatever remuneration of the union members during the period of the strike.”
President of JUSAG, Alex Nattey has charged all his members not to show up at work today [Wednesday, November 13, 2019], except security personnel.
“After our meeting with the National Labour Commission on 11th November 2019, the leadership of JUSAG had a meeting with our Regional Executives and our rank and file. They resolved that since we have already complied with the procedures under the 1992 Constitution regarding our conditions of service, we should proceed accordingly. In view of the above, the leadership of JUSAG is left with no option than to declare an indefinite strike to demand the assenting and implementation of the Judicial Council report”, he said.
JUSAG had served notice it will lay down its tools until further notice on November 13, 2019, if salaries of its members are not reviewed.
Even before that, the National Executive Council of JUSAG had asked Judicial Service Staff to put on red-arm bands and hoist red flags in the various courts to have their demands addressed.