About 150 aggrieved workers of the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) have dragged the Public Service Workers Union (PSWU) of TUC to court, to battle for their constitutional right to freedom of association. The aggrieved workers say the PSWU which is a third party to their employment relations at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation, has managed to authorize the employer to be deducting 2% of their basic salaries as membership dues without their consent.
The aggrieved workers are of the view that the PSWU, which is a third party to their employment relation, is claiming that they, the PSWU, hold the sole and exclusive rights at GBC and that all persons employed by Ghana Broadcasting Corporation are automatic members of PSWU hence the deductions.
To this acclaimed sole and exclusive rights, the PSWU has represented itself as the sole bargaining representative and a protector of workers for their employment conditions at GBC.
However, to the plight of GBC workers, for fourteen (14) years, the Collective Agreement of GBC has not been reviewed, workers have been on their grades for ten (10) years or more, for twelve years, the employer is not paying its part of the Tier 3 of their pension benefits (Provident Fund) leading to retirees dying out of shock and frustration when they retire; allowances of GBC workers in the collective agreement, are paid based on old basic pay structure, among others; yet each month, the PSWU deducts over Ghcc48,000 from staff of GBC for such services.
The aggrieved workers added that, upon investigation, it came to light that the claim of the PSWU of TUC Ghana, to have the sole and exclusive rights to all persons employed by GBC, which is expressed in their contract of employment, and thereby restricting the staff from exercising their constitutional right is against the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651).
Moreover per the constitution of the PSWU, there is condition precedence one must follow to qualify as an eligible member. Thus:
Fill an enrollment form provided by the PSWU
Consent to subscription (2%) deducted from his/her salary
To be issued with a membership card
According to the aggrieved workers, none of the three conditions above were fulfilled and therefore they (the workers) consider the actions of the PSWU highly fraudulent and unfortunate on the part of management to allow such unlawful deductions.
In the Supreme Court of Judicature, in the Labour Division of the High Court of Justice Accra, held on the Monday 8th February, 2021 and chaired by His Lordship Justice Frank Aboadwe Rockson, the court advised both parties to try settlement, failure of which the motion would be heard on the next adjourned date. The court has adjourned the case to March 17, 2021 at 9:30 am.