Africa-Press – Ghana. Accra, Feb. 15- A High Court in Accra has placed an injunction on University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG)’s four weeks strike. This means that the association’s members would have to return to the classroom to commence teaching whilst the substantive issue before the court is heard.
The court presided over by Mr Justice Frank Abodwe granted the injunction based on Article 296 of the 1992, saying negotiations cannot go well if the respondent (UTAG) fails to call off its strike.
It has slated February 22 to hear the substantive issue before it. The substantive issue boarders on the enforcement of the National Labour Commission’s (NLC) decision on UTAG.
Mr Kwesi Keli Delata, Counsel for UTAG has indicated to journalists that they would obtain the copy of the court’s ruling, study same and “advise themselves.”
Ms Effiba Amihere, counsel for NLC had earlier on argued before the court that per Section 172 of the Labour Act, where an order of the commission has been breached, the commission needed to come to court with an application for enforcement.
She said “there is nowhere in the law that says an injunctive relief should dispose of an entire matter. The respondent has failed to comply with the law in relation to Act 651.”
Mr Kwesi Keli Delata, counsel for UTAG opposed the grant of the injunction saying that the substantive matter should rather be heard before an injunction
He said the court should look at the matter brought by the NLC against them as to whether it was “fair, equitable and right.” The NLC had dragged UTAG to court following the association’s refusal to comply with the directive to call off its strike.
The commission had filed two applications before the court. The first is a motion for the enforcement of the directives issued by the NLC on January 13, this year, for UTAG to return to the lecture hall, so teaching could commence.
The second one was the interlocutory to restrain UTAG from continuing with their strike. UTAG on Monday January 10, this year, embarked on industrial action over “worsening “condition of service.
The NLC after hearing the case on Thursday, January 13, this year ruled that the strike be called off because it was illegal and did not follow the due process. UTAG, however continued the industrial action despite the NLC’s directive to call it off. The NLC then sued UTAG for disregarding its directive.