The National Labour Commission (NLC) has declared as illegal, the strike action by the workers on the Tema Port Expansion Project.
It has since ordered them to cease the action.
In its ruling dated 23 June 2017, the Commission said, “The respondent Union is further restrained from engaging in any illegal action of any kind.”
The China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC), which is the executing the port expansion project, had petitioned the NLC to seek clarifications on its contractual obligations to outsourced workers from a third party (L’aine service ) and the Union.
The NLC also restrained the Union and workers of L’aine Services Limited from coercing CHEC to directly employ them.
“That is no privity of contract between L’aine Service and CHEC and hence it shall not be lawful for the workers of L’aine Service either acting by themselves or their representatives to seek to negotiate conditions of service directly with CHEC.’
The workers had demanded permanent employment directly with CHEC but an official of the company who pleaded anonymity said, “CHEC lack the legal capacity do so because their employer is the third party.”
According to the official, the workers were aware of the ruling of the NLC hence their decision to seek national attention by embarking on a strike is illegal.
CHEC outsources all its human resource needs as it wants to solely focus on the construction and engineering works at the harbour.
The Tema Port Expansion Project site had experienced two strikes but could not truncate the progress of work as they were short lived.
The 1.5 billion dollar project when completed would turn the Tema habour into a mega size port capable of accommodating many and larger container ships as well as improve cargo handling.
The main shareholders are: the Ghana Ports and Harbours’ Authority and Meridian ports Services.