The Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) has called on the Government to ratify ILO Convention 158 to provide employment security for private sector workers. [ACILA Calls on Gov’t to Ratify ILO Convention 158 to Provide Employment Security for Private Sector Workers]
This Convention, which entered into force in 1985, provides that termination at the initiative of the employers shall be based on valid reason which is proven misconduct, proven incompetence, and operational requirements.
The Centre said when workers were assured of employment security, subject only to good conduct, competence, and productivity, and would not be terminated arbitrarily, workers would not only feel they are treated with dignity but are likely to be loyal, conscientious, and contribute to increased productivity.
This is contained in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Mr. William Nyarko, to mark May Day being celebrated in Ghana under the theme: Sustainable Pension for all: The Role of Social Partners.
ACILA [not Acila] is a research and education, non-partisan, non-profit, and non-governmental organization that, among other things, monitors African States’ compliance with regional, continental, and international instruments.
ACILA noted that public sector workers enjoy the security of employment guaranteed by the 1992 Constitution while in the private sector only unionized workers enjoy this right.
“For the thousands of private sector workers without a trade union to negotiate valid reason termination for them, their continued employment is at the whim and caprices of their employers. They are terminated with a period of notice or payment in lieu without a valid reason,” the statement said.
According to ACILA, the power of employers to terminate workers’ employment without a valid reason is used as a tool for employers to intimidate workers from joining or forming a trade union to protect and defend their interests.
Additionally, it allows employers to avoid payment of compensation to workers when operational challenges lead to the downsizing of their enterprises.
ACILA urged organized labour and civil society concerned about the welfare of workers to put pressure on the government to ratify Convention 158 to give protection to workers in the private sector, most of whom are treated as commodities.