GNA – Members of the Public Services Workers Union (PSWU) of the Ghana Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday called off their advertised picketing at the precincts of TV3 Network Limited.
The PSWU Executive called off the advertised picketing due to a court injunction secured by TV3 management to stop the planned massive picketing by PSWU Greater Accra members in solidarity with some members who were dismissed by the television station.
The picketing formed part of series of industrial actions planned by the PSWU Greater Accra Regional Executives to register their abhorrence to the arbitrary dismissal of the 32 members of staff of TV3 and also to demonstrate the union’s support for its members.
The Ghana News Agency observed that prior to the cancellation, members of the Greater Accra Branch clad in red attires and arm bands had gathered at the forecourt of TUC in Accra.
As the members massed-up amidst drumming and dancing with buses ready to transport them to the forecourt of TV3, a PSWU National Executive member emerged and announced to the enthusiastic crowd of the court injunction and appealed to them to call off the intended action.
Mr Richard Amperbeng, PSWU General Secretary, who gave the unfortunate information, said the inability to go on with the picketing was due to the fact that the Union had “just sighted an injunction stopping us to picket around TV3 and demonstrating or wearing red bands”.
He explained that the Management of the television station had apparently filed the injunction in the High Court of Justice, Industrial and Labour Division in a suit number IL0035/20017, restraining the Union from picketing.
Mr Amperbeng said the aim of the announced industrial action was to get the 32 staff reinstated, saying it was wrong to dismiss the staff summarily.
They visibly disappointed members who grudgingly moved away with a pledge to consult their lawyers and also roll out other activism strategy to compel TV3 Management to reinstate the 32 staff.
Meanwhile, the General Secretary had explained to the GNA in an interview that PSWU had in turn submitted the suit to its lawyers to file a counter motion with the view of setting the injunction aside to enable the Union to continue with its legitimate action in support of the staff.
He said the Labour Commission had also invited the PSWU, Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and the Management of TV3 to a meeting to discuss the wrongful dismissal of the staff on Wednesday afternoon.
“We are not leaving the matter to hang, we will follow it to its logical conclusion”, Mr Amperbeng assured.
In a related development, the President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Roland Affail Monney who was also at the gathering of the Union members, has expressed solidarity in support of the action of PSWU on behalf of the dismissed staff.
Mr Monney said it was not right for the Management of TV3 to handle the case in that manner.
Prior to the call off of the picketing, the PSWU had been calling on members of the Union to participate effectively in all the Solidarity Actions in support of 32 dismissed staff to protest the unfair summary dismissal.
PSWU said the Management of TV3 took the action without due regard to the National Union or respect for the processes that established the Management-Union relationship, an action which was an affront to the social partnership.
“Since the dastardly incident, the approaches by the Union to resolve the matters amicably have not received the necessary good faith hearing from the Management of TV3, a pre-requisite for our Social Partnership and the Collective Bargaining Processes” a release issued by PSWU had said.