President Akufo-Addo has tasked the newly-constituted Board of the National Labour Commission (NLC) to work in conformity with the provisions of the Labour Act to ensure credibility in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking at the inauguration of the Board, Nana Akufo-Addo charged its members to help government achieve its objectives of growing the economy as rapidly as possible.
According to him, there is a burden for the newly appointed members to be impartial arbiters in resolving disputes that are commonly associated with the labour front.
“Organised labour holds one of the keys to the future prosperity of our nation and that is why the relations of government and Organised labour is so crucial to this government. We have made and will continue to make sincere, transparent efforts to maintain good positive relations with Organised Labour but inevitably, as in all human undertakings; disputes between Organised Labour, employers and government are bound to arise- the need for an impartial arbiter for such disputes is obvious.
“If we are to generate the serenity on the labour front that will make us reach our goal of rapid development of the economy, you can see them and the size of the burden that has been imposed on your shoulders by the Labour Act of 2003 (Act 651). You have been chosen to discharge these functions because of your impartiality and integrity.”
The Board will be chaired by Mr Andrew Kwabena Asamoah and has Kwame Ofori-Gyaw, Rose Karikari Anang, Francis Kofi Davoh, Fidelis Patrice Seddoh, Capt. Nkrabeah Effah-Darteh, and James Atta Krufi Nuamah as members.
The National Labour Commission (NLC) is established under Section 135 of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651). The function of the Commission includes the settlement of industrial disputes through negotiations and other effective alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation and arbitration.
Others are the NLC’s Regulations (2006), Legislative Instrument (LI) 1822 and the Labour Regulations (2007), LI 1833.
Before the promulgation of Act 651, the Industrial Relations Act 1960, (Act 299) governed labour relations. Under Act 299, the Labour Department under the Ministry of Labour Affairs was in charge of managing and settling industrial disputes.
Act 651 has been described as a consensus document because it is a negotiated law where there was a “give-and-take” relationship with the Social Partners in labour relations. The Social Partners are composed of two representatives each from Government, Organized Labour and the Ghana Employers Association.
The Commission aims to develop and sustain a peaceful and harmonious industrial relations environment through the use of effective dispute resolution practices within the context of the law, promotion of cooperation among the labour market players and mutual respect for their rights and responsibilities.
The vision of the Commission is to have a harmonious industrial relations environment borne out of the firm understanding of, and committed compliance with the Labour Laws by all stakeholders, to make the Ghanaian economy competitive to attract investment.