Accra, Oct. 1, GNA – Mr Ofosu Asamoah, the Executive Secretary of National Labour Commission (NLC) has suggested that Members of the Commission be made full time Commissioners to expedite the hearing of cases at the Commission, calling for proper funding.
“If we are made full-time Commissioners, we will sit daily and this will quicken the resolution processes to avoid the current delays in resolving most of the disputes,” he explained.
Mr Asamoah made the remarks when Management of the Commission met the Economic and Social Development Committee of the Council of State in Accra.
He said the weekly hearing of cases by the Members of the Commission was inadequate to resolve the numerous cases brought before the Commission.
The Executive Secretary gave an overview of the establishment of the Commission and the processes of resolving cases at the Commission.
He briefed the Council members on the dispute settlement processes as well as the operations of the Commission since its establishment in the year 2005 till date.
Mr Asamoah reiterated the call for the government to absorb the cost of mediation and arbitration fees to allow the accessibility to promote expeditious resolution of Industrial disputes taking into consideration the number of complaints received by the Commission.
He said the Commission since its establishment in 2005 had received over 1.2million Complaints of which over 70 per cent have been heard and resolved.
The Executive Secretary said sadly in less than a year, eight members of staff of which most were from the Industrial Relations Department had resigned and rendered challenges to the facilitation services.
“This is due to poor conditions of service, which led to the poaching of most of them by private organizations thereby having a dire consequence on the Commission’s operations if not salvaged in earnest,” he said.
He said currently the Commission was only visible in Greater Accra, Western and Ashanti regions and it was in its plan to open an office in the Northern region this year considering the distance that aggrieved persons had to travel down to get their cases heard.
Mr Asamoah said it was time for the Head Office to also get an office complex on its own as the present office accommodation was inadequate, and inappropriate for the nature of work of the Commission.
“The Commission lack office space for staff with poor ventilation, meeting room, library and other reference materials among others,” he said.
Paa Kofi Ansong, the Chairman of the Committee, commended the leadership of the Commission for its accomplishments despite all the challenges and for working hard to ensure the peaceful resolution of a number of landmark cases.
He recommended to the Commission to be organizing seminars for Labour Unions to help address some of their concerns as a way of minimizing the rampant Labour agitations.
Paa Ansong said looking at the scope of work the media did, it needed to also be enlightened on the intricacies of the Commission as a quasi-judicial body to better explain to the public the Commission’s directives and rulings when they were issued.
He underscored the important role of the NLC to the Ghanaian economy, adding that it was pertinent the Commission be supported by government and other stakeholders to make its work meaningful.
Paa Ansong promised that the Council would take up the issue of support of the NLC with the relevant authorities as a way of charting solutions to the Commission’s concerns.
Mr E T Mensah, the former Member of Parliament for Ningo Prampram and a Member of the Council, said it was time the law that established the Commission was reviewed for necessary inputs to be made to operate much effectively because of its important role to the national economy.