In a bid to avert the planned strike action by telecom workers on Monday, the National Labour Commission (NLC) will this morning hold a crunch meeting with the workers’ union and their employers to attempt to resolve their impasse.
The NLC called the meeting after the Telecom and IT Professionals Union (TIP) issued a notice of an indefinite nationwide strike effective Monday to press home demands for certain conditions of service for telecom workers.
Expected at the meeting which is scheduled for 10 am today are the executives of TIP and the managers of four subcontract employers; Reliance Personnel Services Limited, Reime Ghana Limited, MP Infrastructure Ghana Limited, and Linfra Ghana Limited.
The executives of the union, whose members are mostly outsourced engineers, technicians, IT professionals, and other allied workers managing the technical operations of the three major telecom companies, MTN, Vodafone, and AirtelTigo, is keen on securing its demands from the employers.
A highly placed source at the NLC informs ADR Daily that the Commission is optimistic about settling the matter.
But the union executive remains skeptical about the outcome of the meeting, explaining that their employers have failed to adhere to earlier agreements from similar meetings and arbitrations awarded by the Commission.
According to Israel Edem Agbegbor, General Secretary of TIP, their demands are “non-negotiable,” adding that they are expecting the Commission to enforce its earlier decisions and direct the employers to abide by their agreements.
“The employers cannot take us for granted anymore. We are not backing down on the strike until our demands are met,” he told ADR Daily ahead of the meeting.
The union is accusing the four employers, who are subcontractors and employment agencies of Huawei Technologies on the managed service operations of MTN, Vodafone, and AirtelTigo, of unfair labour practices and victimization against union members and executives across the national, regional, and branch levels, as well as lack of commitment, to cooperate with the union.
Amongst other demands, the union wants an “immediate payment of Golden handshake to all our members whose contracts have ended with Reliance and have not been renewed.”
They are also demanding an “immediate recall of all targeted members of TIP whose contracts have not been renewed by these employers by mere association with the union and other Union leaders who are part of the current Joint standing negotiation committee and sub-committee negotiating the 2022 Collective Agreement and salary increment.”
Additionally, the union is demanding a “joint signing and submission of a letter to NLC referring the salary negotiation and pending items in the 2022 Collective Agreement to compulsory or voluntary arbitration after over six weeks of declaring a deadlock.”