Former staffs of the Ghana Commercial Bank (GCB) who were dismissed in April this year, have sought solace at the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).
The ex-workers, numbering 36, have petitioned CHRAJ over what they term “wrongful and unfair dismissal.”
Aside wanting to have their employment contract termination declared as unfair, wrong and against their rights, the former GCB staff are also seeking compensation over “unjust treatment.”
The 36 people are part of a group of 164 workers absorbed by the GCB after its takeover of the UT and Capital banks in August 2017, whose appointments were later terminated.
The abrogation of the contracts was as a result of the bank’s probe into the pre-tertiary certificates of staff hired in 2017.
Whereas, some of the 164 affected workers claimed their sacking was illegal and arbitrary, others have dragged GCB to court to stop it from using their pre-tertiary academic certificates as a basis for terminating their appointments.
It is against this backdrop that, the 36 have ran to CHRAJ, seeking redress for what in their view amount to infractions of their labour rights.
Reliefs Being Sought by the Ex GCB Staff
In an affidavit supporting their petition to CHRAJ, with attestation by labour consultant, Mr. Seth Abloso, the 36 workers have prayed the commission to investigate the case and direct GCB to respond to their complaints.
That was because the bank had failed to appear at meetings arranged by the Labour Department in the past, the petition stated.
The workers are also seeking that CHRAJ order the GCB to compensate and pacify them for the wrongful termination of contracts.
The aggrieved former GCB workers, equally want an order by CHRAJ, directing the bank to rectify all the breaches and infractions and abuse of rights, with interest.
Additionally, the workers want a declaration from CHRAJ that the termination of their appointments was wrong and unfair.
Assessment of the Petition
Commissioner of CHRAJ, Mr. Joseph Whittal has disclosed that, the commission has commenced an initial assessment to see if the petition is within its mandate to conduct a full-scale investigation into the matter.
“An initial assessment has been undertaken by the commission to find out if its mandate to deal with the matter was sufficiently triggered.
“We would soon communicate that decision to the petitioners,” the CHRAJ Commissioner indicated.
He further explained that a legal opinion had been drafted and the commission was reviewing that to arrive at a definitive decision on the matter.
“We will communicate our decision directly to the petitioners when we take it,” the head of the Human Rights Commission stressed.
The Dismissal of 164 staff of GCB
In April this year, the GCB sacked 164 staff of the bank, after it took over UT and Capital Banks through a purchase and assumption agreement.
UT and Capital were declared insolvent, following a clean-up exercise by the bank of Ghana.
Upon complaints by the aggrieved former staff, the services of a Labour Consultant, Mr. Seth Abloso, was engaged, leading to discussions with the management of the bank.
However, two meetings between the bank and the consultant, scheduled for Tuesday, May 12, and Thursday, May 21, 2019, failed to come off, because the Bank did not acknowledge receipt of any communication in relation to the proposed meetings.
The consultant then petitioned CHRAJ to look into the case.