Assessment of the labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) in resolving industrial disputes: A case study of Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT)

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Industrial disputes in recent times have assumed an alarming proportion especially in the public sector. It is expected that with the promulgation of the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651) industrial disputants would have their grievances addressed in accordance with the procedures provided by the Labour Act to ensure industrial harmony and peace which are necessary conditions for increase productivity and economic growth. However, in many cases, workers resort to the use of strike actions and demonstrations whilst employers adopt lockout and other means that are not approved by the Labour Act. It was against this background that the research was conducted with the main objective of critically assessing the Labour Act, 2003 (Act 651), with a particular reference to the provisions on mechanisms for resolving industrial disputes with specific reference to Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT). To achieve the objectives of the research, an exploratory and descriptive design were adopted aimed at assessing how the provisions of the Labour Act can help to manage industrial disputes. Questionnaires were administered to a sample of both the executives and members of GNAT in the Kumasi Metropolis in the Ashanti Region for collection of primary data. The study revealed that the respondents appreciate the effectiveness of the mechanisms set out in the Labour Act in resolving industrial disputes. However, they did not want to go through the procedures in resolving dispute between them and their employers. The respondents believe that their employers Ghana Education Service (GES) which represents the government of Ghana use the mechanisms for resolving industrial disputes to buy time during industrial disputes. The research also revealed that respondents have low knowledge in the provisions of the Labour Act. The respondents wanted GNAT to organize seminars and symposia to educate them on the provisions in the Labour Act. Recommendations were made to that effect so that members of GNAT could have basic knowledge in the Labour Act.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Managerial Science in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Business Administration.