Prime News Ghana

Labour Commission heads to court to compel nurses to call off strike

By Mutala Yakubu
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The National Labour Commission (NLC) has served notice that it will head to court today September 22, 2020, to compel the nurses to halt the strike.

Though the NLC has secured an injunction to stop the nurses from striking, the latter claims that they have not been officially served.

David Tenkorang, General Secretary of Ghana nurses and Midwifery Association says they are not flouting the court orders but have not been officially served.

READ ALSO: Back down on strike and return to negotiation table - Fair Wages to nurses

"Can we defy the orders of the court?. What we expected the Labour Commission to do was the right thing, they had the powers of the High Court why didn't they write to us as NLC to restrain us from embarking on this journey instead of going to the court to secure an injunction, this is just an intimidatory ploy and we will not be intimidated".

However, Executive Secretary of the NLC Ofosu Asamoah says the leadership of these nurses is disrespecting the court.

"We wanted to serve their president or the general secretary and both of them kept evading us, so we served it to the administrator who came out and said that he is under instructions and told us he will not take it".

The GRNMA comprising all public sector nurses, midwives, Physician Assistants (PAs) and Anaesthetists (CRAs) from Monday, September 21, 2020, withdrew their services demanding improved conditions of service.

The NLC had secured an interim injunction to restrain the group from going ahead with the strike but they defied the court orders and are currently on strike.

The injunction was obtained at the Labour Division Court 1 of the High Court on Friday, September 18, 2020, and will last for ten days.

The NLC says the striking nurses and midwives risk salary deductions for the number of days they have embarked on their illegal strike.

Mr Ofosu Asamoah said their unlawful actions comes with some consequences.

“There is a court order restraining them from embarking on the strike and they have decided to defy the orders of the court and go ahead with their industrial strike. Four things have come to play, first by law when you engage in unlawful strike you should not be paid your salary or anything entitled to you for the period you are on strike.

Two, the proponents of the illegal strike should be responsible for the payment of the wages and salaries of the members engaged in the illegal strike as a result of the declaration by their leadership

Three, if you engaged in the illegal strike… it means that you have abandoned your post unlawfully and if it continues for 10 days or more you can be regarded as abandoning your post and your employer can terminate your appointment

Those who ordered the unlawful strike after the court order has been served and they are aware is contempt of court.”

 This is day 2 of the strike and the nurses have vowed not to return to work if their grievances are not sorted.