Strike actions to be restricted to 72hrs – Govt

 Mr Haruna Iddrisu
Mr Haruna Iddrisu

The Government is seeking to introduce a law that will compel public sector workers not to embark on a strike action beyond 72 hours.

The initiative will be in the form of a policy review of existing laws regarding strike actions in the country by public sector workers,

Minister for Employment and Labour Relations, Haruna Iddrisu Wednesday told Parliament.

“Mr. Speaker, our constitution guarantees freedom of association and we do recognize the right of workers to push home their demands through the withdrawal of their services. But Mr. Speaker, government will soon appear before this House for a policy review on strike actions generally”.

“The law does just provide for lawful actions and we have those that may be illegal or unlawful and pending its determination by the National Labour Commission. But Mr. Speaker, it is my contention that with such practice across the world, if workers want to go on strike, they can do so and government will respect that but they should do so within a limited time period”.

“I will think that in future Parliament should be able to help us to legislate that you may not be on strike action beyond 72 hours. You can for purposes of driving home your demand withdraw your services within 48 to 72 hours – it is important that you return back to work because it affects productivity”, the Employment and Labour Relations Minister argued in his submission to the plenary.

His comment was in reaction to a question posed by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Ketu North, James Klutse Avedzi.

The Chairman of the Finance Committee had sought to inquire from the Employment and Labour Relations Minister about the effect of strike actions by workers in the public sector, especially, health workers and others concerning the Tier 2 Pension Scheme.

According Mr. Iddrisu, though health workers may have a genuine concern to embark on a strike action, the injury and loss of lives “arising out of a doctor or a nurse not been at work will not be compensated for”.

Nonetheless, he said the workers would still have an opportunity to consult with the government to reach an amicable solution over outstanding arrears to be paid.

By: Stephen Odoi-Larbi/Kasapafmonline.com/Ghana