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MDU accuses ONE Group of violating Ghana’s labour laws

Tue, 10 Apr 2018 Source: todaygh.com

Maritime and Dockworkers Union (MDU) has accused management of Ocean Network Express (One) Group of violating Section 65 of the Labour Act 651, 2003.

In a petition submitted to the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and signed by General Secretary of MDU, Mr Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, it said Mr Michael Durrant Cooper, Managing Director of MOL Ghana, has persistently refused to provide list of workers who would be maintained in the new joint venture of ONE Group and those whose employment would end with MOL Ghana to MDU.

According to the petition, even though the issue had not been resolved, Mr Michael Durrant Cooper verbally informed four (4) workers to go on leave because they would not be part of the ONE Group.

The petition further accused Mr Durrant Cooper of “constituting himself into a one-man interview panel to conduct interviews that had pre-determined outcomes because even before the interviews conducted by Mr Durrant Cooper, he had introduced a system of getting some of the retained employees to understudy those who would not be part of the ONE Group.”

The MDU stated in the complaint that management of MOL Ghana had taken unilateral decisions in the course of negotiations and refused to discuss “measures to be taken to avert or minimise the termination as well as measures to mitigate the adverse effects of any terminations on the workers concerned such as finding alternative employment as provided in section 65(1 a & b) of the Labour Act (Act 65), 2003.

The statement alleged that Mr Durrant Cooper unilaterally prepared cheques of redundancy pay for the employees that he claimed were part payment of the redundancy pay when they had not negotiated a redundancy package and the terms of payment.

The petition added that management of MOL Ghana/ONE Group again requested the employees to collect the cheques as part payment of the redundancy pay whilst they await the conclusion of negotiations with the union in blatant violation of section 65 (4) of the Labour Act (Act 651), 2003.

The MDU expressed discontent that though there would be the same 23 vacancies in the ONE Group as pertained in the MOL Ghana, Mr Michael Durrant Cooper decided not to retain the four (4) staff three (3) of whom are local union executives as part of his union busting methods.

It will be recalled that the District Council of MDU in Tema mobilised members of MDU in Tema for mass action against MOL Ghana on March 23, 2018 when the leadership of the MDU District Council of Tema presented a petition against the violations of the labour rights of the workers of MOL Ghana to the management of the company.

The petition assured that MDU would continue to use every legal means including mass actions to ensure that MOL/ONE Group respects the dignity and laws of Ghana. “Foreign companies must behave as good corporate citizens and respect the laws of Ghana and not to undermine our sovereignty”, he said.

MDU as part of their petition requested the ministry to compel management of MOL Ghana/ONE Group to respect the labour laws of Ghana.

Ocean Network Express is a Japanese global container shipping company, which is a Joint Venture of three container shipping lines MOL, NYK and K-Line that started begun operations in Ghana on 30th March, 2018.

Source: todaygh.com