NLA staff strike “wrongful and unfair” – NLC rules
The National Labour Commission (NLC) has directed the National Lottery Authority (NLA) staff to suspend the withdrawal of their services and return to working posts with immediate effect.
The Commission’s decision comes after a meeting with various stakeholders following service withdrawal by workers at the NLA over claims of imminent danger under Section 119 (1) of Act 651.
The NLC described staff’s action at the NLA as “unfair and wrongful” and called for the resumption of work immediately.
The matter was referred to the NLC after the staff laid down their tools on March 1, citing attacks nationwide.
They pointed to assault and threats on them at places like Tamale due to the failure of the Authority’s management to pay lottery winners as far back as April 2020.
General Secretary for the Financial, Business, and Services Employees Union of the NLA, Benjamin Mingle, indicated that the administration of the Authority has failed to settle winners of big lottery games across the country.
He, therefore, called for the immediate dismissal of Kofi Osei Ameyaw, the Director-General of the National Lottery Association.
The Association of Lotto Marketing Companies (LMCs) operating under the National Lottery Authority (NLA) supported the strike and removal of Mr Osei Ameyaw.
The LMCs, in a statement signed by Mr Daniel Mensah and Mr Samuel Yeboah, National Chairman and Deputy General Secretary respectively, which represented the accredited sales force of the NLA, pleaded with President Nana Akufo-Addo to consider their request by removing both the Director-General and his Deputy, Mr Amoakohene Baafi to save the image of the NLA from total collapse.
The situation forced the National Labour Commission to summon the NLA staff union and Director General of the Authority, Kofi Osei Ameyaw, to resolve the concerns by the aggrieved staff.
Mr Osei Ameyaw told the NLC that “ in this day and age where cyber-crime has become a big issue, big wins are thoroughly investigated, verified and validated before payments of the said wins”.
He further stated that if the document is cleared and validated by the committee, the winning shall be paid within fourteen days”.
However, upon hearing the various aggrieved parties, the National Labour Commission has directed all NLA workers to return to work and “ensure that the Draw for today, March 1, 2021, is held”.
In response to these issues, the NLC has further tasked the management of the Authority and the Union to arrange a meeting by Friday, March 5, at the very latest, to discuss the grievances presented by the workers.
“Management must assure the workers of their safety and accordingly provide security to ensure their safety,” the NLC concluded.
Consequently, the NLA has also set up a three-member committee to probe allegations of the non-payment of big wins.
Mr Osei Ameyaw explained that their mandate would be to “verify, validate and authenticate” documents of persons in the category of big wins.