The long standing impasse between Mantrac Ghana workers and Industrial and Commercial Workers Union (ICU) is back again with the Mantrac management being accused of deliberately violating workers’ rights in an attempt to trap them into being sacked.
In the recent incident, the Mantrac management have deducted a total of GHC33.72 from each worker’s May 2017 salary and given them to ICU even though the workers had withdrawn their membership from ICU as of April 10, 2017.
The workers have since 2015 been trying to leave the ICU to join the Ghana Mined Workers Union (GMWU), but the management of the company have seemingly connived with ICU to prevent the workers from leaving.
The workers first presented their withdrawal letters to ICU on August 4, 2015 but ICU claimed they never got those letters so management kept deducting workers’ dues for ICU until the workers embarked on a strike last year, leading to the sack of over 60 workers.
The matter then went to the National Labour Commission (NLC), where the workers were asked to present another set of withdrawal letters to ICU for good measure.
After months of back and forth, on January 10, 2017, the workers presented the second set of withdrawal letters to ICU through DHL, and the letters were received at ICU with a DHL Receipt to show as evidence.
The DHL Receipt, available to Adom News, shows the letter was received by Industrial and Commercial Workers Union with an address in the name of Solomon S. A. Kotei (ICU Chairman) at 8.10am on the said date.
Copies of the withdrawal letters were also sent to NLC and GMWU, and both of them have confirmed receiving the letters, while the management of Mantrac was also duly notified and they have confirmed same.
The withdrawal rules at ICU says that three months after presenting the withdrawal letters, the workers automatically cease to be members of the ICU, and that date fell on April 10, 2017.
Indeed, on May 8, 2017, the HR Manager at Mantrac, Kingsley J. Amoako-Mensah wrote to ICU telling them that from May, 2017, workers dues will no more be given to ICU but to GMWU, as per the workers instructions.
In spite of that letter from the Mantrac HR, and in spite of the DHL Receipt, ICU still claims they have not received any notice of the workers’ withdrawal and so this month of May, the Mantrac Management have still deducted dues from workers and given them to ICU.
The workers got their May salary slips on May 24, 2017 and it clearly reflected two deductions of GHC16.86 each, totaling GHC33.72 from each worker to the ICU.
Chairman of GMWU, Kuako Mensah Gyakari told Adom News the Mantrac Management agreed to deduct the May dues for GMWU so it still beats his mind why they made deductions for ICU.
He suspects that the Mantrac Management are intentionally setting a trap for the workers to react so they can sack them like they did the last time a similar incident occurred.
“The last time the management did a similar thing in connivance with the ICU the workers went on a two-hour strike and management sacked 69 of them – I think they are doing a similar thing this time and that is not fair,” he said.
Kuako Mensah Gyakari said they have therefore asked the workers to remain calm for GMWU to take up the matter at the NLC.
Lawyer for the workers, Benjamin Arthur said the conduct of the Mantrac management is inexplicable and is a violation of the work’s fundamental constitutional right to form or join an association of their choice.
He says the deduction for ICU in May is a one violation to many so the law must take its course.
Efforts to reach the Mantrac HR Manager to explain why he wrote to ICU informing them the workers’ May dues will be given to GMWU, and yet he still made deductions for ICU proved futile.