By Iddi Yire/Jesse Owusu Ampah, GNA
Accra, Aug. 13,
GNA - More than one hundred people have applied to the National Labour
Commission (NLC) to become mediators and arbitrators, so as to facilitate
negotiation and dialogue in labour disputes.
Karikari Anang, Vice Chairman, NLC, said the applications were received
following the Commission's decision to float an advert to open up mediators and
arbitrators list, so that they could welcome more people (mediators and
She said this
was because since the passage of the Labour Law in 2003, and its
implementation, which is almost 15 years now, the people (mediators and
arbitrators) the Commission have had on its list have been inadequate.
She said in
addition, more people have done various courses in Labour Mediation and
Arbitration, which also qualifies them as mediators and arbitrators; stating
that "we want to give them an opportunity".
Mrs Anang made
the disclosure on Tuesday at the opening of a programme on mediation and
arbitration for social partners in Accra.
The two-day workshop
was organised by the Ghana Employers Association (GEA) in collaboration with
the NLC with funding from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO).
seeks to support employers, organised labour and government representatives to
understand and appreciate the role of mediation and arbitration in Ghana's
labour dispute settlement processes and procedures in particular, and
industrial relations in general.
It is also
intended to equip the social partners to be enable to prepare adequately in the
event that dispute is reported to the NLC.
expressed concern at the inadequate number of mediators and arbitrators in the
country, and the low patronage of mediation and arbitration as a tool for
labour disputes resolution in the country.
She said the
Commission's decision to open the list of mediators and arbitrators was also
because there has been an increase in labour disputes.
want to have a wider list of people (mediators and arbitrators), who will be
mediating and arbitrating in this labour issues."
Mrs Anang said
the Commission has developed a code of conduct to guide the conduct of
arbitrators and mediators to ensure that they were doing the right thing.
She said there
have been challenges with the mediation process and arbitration process,
stating that workers and trade unions, might not opt for mediation because they
need to pay for it.
Mrs Anang said
because of this a large number of labour disputes end up being heard by the
Labour Commissioners; "what we call Summary Settlements".
all cases are coming to the Labour Commissioners, and so we have a long list of
cases, which is dating as far back as 2015/2016, which is yet to be
heard," she said.
to educate the social partners for them to know that mediation and arbitration
is also a mechanism for resolution of labour disputes," Mrs Anang said.
She urged the
social partners to have faith in mediation and arbitration.
which is delayed is denied, and so we want justice to be facilitated expeditiously
as far as possible," Mrs Anang said.
She said the
new mediators and arbitrators would be taken through training and a
She said those
already in the system would be taking through some refresher programmes,
because business was dynamic and things were changing.
"We at the
Labour Commission are poised to deepen the process of mediation and
On his part, Mr
Alex Frimpong, Chief Executive Officer, GEA called for a proactive way to solve
labour disputes through mediation and arbitration.
He said one
thing that was very critical in every work place was how to settle disputes
between workers and management.
said that the objective of the workshop was to deepening understanding, enhance
cooperation and facilitate the processes of mediation; so that both management
and employees could sing from the same page sheet when it comes to the
settlement of industrial disputes.
He said because
conflict was inevitable in society, there is the need for stakeholders to
adequately prepare themselves for any eventuality; stating that "the
essence is to prepare, so that in the event that it occurs, you are ready to
handle the situation, so that it brings industrial peace".
said as and when problems occur, there must be an organised way of addressing
them, so that the organisation could grow from strength to strength.
He said once
there was an organised way of addressing labour disputes in any country,
investors would be ready to invest in it.