The case in which 1,100 workers of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) are in court to challenge moves to hand over the operations of the Company to a concessionaire without any redundancy package for them, has been adjourned by the Accra Circuit Court.
The court adjourned the matter, on Friday morning, after the state represented by Principal State Attorney Ms Grace Oppong, told the court that they have filed an affidavit in opposition in response to an interlocutory induction filed by the ECG workers as part of her suit.
In view of this, the court presided over by Justice Laurenda Owusu adjourned the case to October 19, to allow all parties to file their respective documents.
On the next adjourned date, counsels for the ECG workers would also move the application for interlocutory injunction for the court to halt the planned concession of ECG until the final determination of the suit.
They workers are in court asking the Labour Division of the High Court to declare that sending ECG workers, including the plaintiffs, on permanent transfer constitutes a redundancy.
The workers are also asking for a declaration that the decision by the Minister of Energy to conduct redundancy negotiations with individual employees of the ECG, including the plaintiffs, is illegal and constitutes a gross violation of Section 65 of the Labour Act.
That section of the Labour Act requires that negotiations for redundancy pay must be conducted between the employer and the workers union, among other provisions, and also constitutes unlawful interference with trade union activities.
The plaintiffs are praying for an order directed at the defendants to comply with the provisions of the Labour Act, go through the proper redundancy process as laid down in Ghana’s laws and pay the plaintiffs redundancy pay (severance package) in accordance with the stipulation in the law and the collective agreement between the workers and the ECG.
They are also seeking a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants, their assigns and privies from continuing with the Compact Agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) on August 5, 2014 for the reform of the electricity distribution sector of Ghana by, among other issues, appointing a concessionaire to take over the distribution of electricity from the ECG and related agreements.
A further declaration that the failure of the ECG and the Attorney-General to declare a redundancy in the ECG, pursuant to their plans to hand over the business of the ECG to a concessionaire, constitutes a breach of the contract of employment between the plaintiffs and the ECG is also being sought.
Damages for breach of contract, costs, including solicitor’s fees, and other reliefs are also being sought by the defendants.