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TUC, ICU Turf War Heightens   
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The Trades Union Congress (TUC) has condemned in no uncertain terms the purported disrespectful behaviour of some members of the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union (ICU) during the 2019 May Day celebration in Accra.

At a news conference in Accra yesterday, the TUC claimed during the national parade held at the Black Stars Square on May 1, 2019, some members of the ICU carried placards with inscriptions purposely designed to tarnish the image of the TUC General Secretary, Dr. Yaw Baah.

They said ICU members made ‘loud noise’ with the intention to dwarf the message of the TUC General Secretary during the event attended by President Akufo-Addo and Vice-President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, as well as other dignitaries.

“ICU members made loud noise that made it difficult for everyone present at the parade to hear any of the speeches, including the important speeches delivered by H.E the President of the Republic and the Secretary General of the TUC,” said Dr. Baah.

“On behalf of members of Organised Labour, I would like to apologize for the disrespectful behaviour of ICU leaders and members, who were involved in that disgraceful action,” he added.

Dr. Baah, who read the statement by the executives of the TUC, said the union believes the action of ICU was informed by its eviction from the TUC building, which is currently under renovation.

Earlier this year, the ICU protested against the forcible eviction of its officers in the TUC building for renovation purposes, stating that the building was donated by the CPP government to all workers in Ghana and was not prepared to move out.

But the TUC Secretary General stressed that the building was handed over to the TUC by Dr Kwame Nkrumah to house members of the TUC and since the ICU defected from the labour organization 15 years ago following a misunderstanding, it had no stake in the building.

However, the ICU has occupied part of the TUC building in the last 15 years. 

“TUC allocated some offices in the building, including ICU at the time. Trades Union Hall has since remained the head office of TUC and national unions affiliate to the TUC,” he said.

Dr. Baah further explained that TUC in 2017 decided to renovate the TUC building, which has not seen any major refurbishment since 1960, adding that “considering the massive work involved and the health of occupants, the contractor requested that TUC, its affiliate unions and all other occupants of the building, including ICU should temporarily relocate.”

He said ICU, which is not even a member of the TUC, instead of moving to its own four-storey building at Kokomlemle, instructed its lawyers to inform TUC that ICU shall not move out of the offices.

This, he said, was followed by an application filed by ICU for orders of interlocutory injunction at the high court to restrain the TUC and others from interfering in the use and occupation of offices by ICU in the hall of trade unions.

“ICU’s application was dismissed by the court … this delayed the refurbishment project for five months costing TUC over 100,000 additional contract fees,” he added.

Dr. Baah said the TUC wrote to the leadership of ICU led by its General Secretary, Reverend Solomon Kotei, to request ICU to relocate other occupants, including those of TUC, but ICU remained recalcitrant.

“Therefore on 25th April, 2019, the leadership of TUC requested the support of the Accra Regional Police Headquarters to provide security to the contractor to gain access to all areas in the Trade Union Hall. This was to ensure that the refurbishment is completed on schedule and avoid additional project cost due to unnecessary delay,” he stated.

He stressed that the action of TUC was in consultation with other leaders of TUC to restore dignity to the TUC as a mouthpiece of all workers of Ghana.

“We would like to assure ICU and all its leaders and members that TUC’s doors will remain open to re-affiliation to TUC. We are also ready to continue the dialogue with the leadership of ICU to resolve all issues amicably in the spirit of unity and solidarity,” he added.
Source: Daily Guide

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