In the quest to make its services accessible to more people across the country’s labour market, the National Labour Commission (NLC) has opened its Ashanti Regional Office with the inauguration of the Ashanti Regional Labour Committee.
The Committee has the task of helping to settle labour disputes emanating from that region of the country.
It is the second Regional Labour Committee and Office, after the Western Regional Office, to be set up as part of the Commission’s efforts to decentralise its services.
Ashanti Regional Committee will handle cases from the Ashanti region, considered as a flash point for labour disputes, as well as serve the regions of the north.
It is expected to provide a significant relief for clients in the northern zone who hitherto had to file their cases in Accra.
Due to lack of funds, the Commission has been unable to set up all regional offices as stipulated by the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), resulting in the piling of cases at the head office in Accra
According to the Commission, the Ashantii regional labour committee will serve the three regions in the north until funds are secured to set up offices and committees in those regions.
Among its mandate, the Ashanti Regional Labour Committee is to facilitate the settlement of industrial disputes; settle industrial disputes; refer to mediation and arbitration industrial disputes by allowing disputing parties to select mediators and arbitrators from the data base of the Commission; investigate labour related complaints, in particular unfair labour practices and take such steps as it considers necessary to prevent labour disputes; and promote effective labour co-operation between labour and management.
Mr. Andrew K. Asamoah, Chairman of the Commission, in his address to inaugurate the Committee said the Commission remains committed to its objective of not only to ensuring the equitable delivery of justice in industrial/labour disputes but also to creating a peaceful industrial relations environment that will facilitate employment generation and job creation in the Ghanaian economy, and to also protect existing jobs.
“The Commission, very mindful of these objectives, has designed a strategy to ensure that its services are made accessible to as many clients as possible under its medium-term strategy.
“This Plan calls for the decentralization of the Commission’s services by bringing it closer to its clients, and at areas where the services are in high demand; an aim which also gives meaning to the purpose of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) as a piece of social legislation to protect the public interest.
“During the course of its work over the years, the Commission identified some areas as flash points, where its services are mostly needed due to their industrial settings and business activities, and one of such areas is the Ashanti Region,” he said.
The Chairman gave the assurance that the Labour Commission remains dedicated to ensuring that there is equitable delivery of justice in dealing with employer-employee and workplace disputes.
“It is in view of this that in the midst of dire financial constraints the Commission is working hard to give meaning to the purpose of Act 651, which amongst others, is to create a flexible legal regime for the resolution of industrial disputes,” he stressed.
Mr Asamoah, therefore, appealed to the labour market players to support the Commission’s efforts and offer co-operation for the settlement of industrial disputes.
He admonished the members of the Committee to live above reproach and to always uphold the interest of the Commission by delivering justice in a fair and objective manner.
The Members are Kwame Adom-Appiah, representing the government, Ms Georgina Yeboah, representing employers, and Ms Naomi Dedei Otoo, representing organised labour.
Justice Kofi Akrowiah, the Regional Supervising High Court Judge, administered the oath of office to the members, and the charged them be diligent in their work.
By Edmund Mingle/ adrdaily.com