The Ghana Employers Association (GEA) in collaboration with the National Labour Commission (NLC) with funding from the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO), has organised a programme on mediation and arbitration for social partners.
The two-day programme 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.
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.
Mr Alex Frimpong, the Chief Executive Officer, GEA, said one thing that was very critical in every work place was how to settle disputes between workers and management.
He said that the objective of the workshop was to deepen 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 is 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”.
“For the country to be able to achieve its national goals, we need industrial peace. Workers must understand the rules, the processes and the laws that govern that employment relationship,” Mr Frimpong said.
Employers must also understand that employees also have rights at the work place; so that there is the need to reconcile the differences to ensure that you coexist to deliver on your mandate, he said.
He noted that 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.
On the way forward, Mr Frimpong said it was important that all stakeholders learnt a lesson by ensuring that there was industrial peace in the country.
Mrs Rose Karikari Anang, the Vice Chairman, NLC, said mediation and arbitration was critical for labour dispute resolution, because it engenders socioeconomic development.
She said the Commission was really poised in deepening the process of mediation and arbitration, adding that to this end, the Commission has developed a code of conduct to guide the conduct of arbitrators and mediators, to ensure that they do the right thing.
She said the Commission would be opening mediators and arbitrators list to ensure that there is a wider list of mediators and arbitrators.