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Labour Commission heads to Court to seek contempt against Leadership of UTAG

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By: Yvonne Atilego.

The National Labour Commission (NLC), has given a clear indication that it is heading to court on Tuesday, August 10, to seek contempt of court against the leadership of the University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG).

This follows the adamant stance adopted by the University Teachers to return to the classroom after the Labour Commission had secured a court injunction against their strike, which began a week ago.

Speaking to GBC News’ Yvonne Atilego in Accra, Executive Secretary of the National Labour Commission, Ofosu Asamoah, denied the accusation that the Commission is always on the side of the government, instead of championing the interest of the labour unions.

He said, “the Chairman of the Commission is nominated by the Unions and the Ghana Employers Association and not the government, so they have a better representation unless of course, they nominated people to come and do government business,” stated Mr. Ofosu Asamoah.

Meanwhile, members of UTAG have registered their displeasure with what they termed as “a back and forth negotiations with government’”.

According to the Association, they have not been treated in good faith by government, all this while. The leadership of UTAG began consultations with its legal team to enable it respond appropriately to an injunction secured by the National Labour Commission against their strike.

According to UTAG, the news of the injunction came in after it had concluded nationwide consultations with members and decided not to call off the strike until their demands are met by government.

UTAG has been on a nationwide strike over poor conditions of service since Monday, August 2, 2021.

Subsequently, the NLC secured an interlocutory injunction compelling the University Teachers to return to the lecture halls immediately. In an interview with GBC News, the National President of UTAG, Dr. Samuel Nkubang said they are heading to court to challenge the NLC injunction.

He was not happy that the NLC is seeking a court injunction when they have invited them for a meeting on Thursday, August 12, 2021.

“I stated that if it is the case that the National Labour Commission is seeking to engage us by virtue of inviting us to the meeting on Thursday, then it is unusual as to why they are going to court, however, it is now a legal matter.,” the National UTAG President said.

In a related development, as the impasse between Government, National Labour Commission, UTAG and the Senior Staff Association of Universities in Ghana rages, Labour Expert, Austin Gamey has advocated cool heads in the wake of the impasse.

Speaking to GBC News, Mr. Gamey said although all parties in the matter have erred in one way or the other in an attempt to put their message across, negotiators must do all within their power to resolve the issue amicably within 48 hours, to ensure industrial harmony.

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