Some Workers of Ghana?s Central Bank will begin an indefinite strike action Thursday to press home their demand for the reinstatement of two senior staff members who were recently fired. The striking workers claim the sacking of the two senior staff comes after they suggested a workers? union that would act as a mouthpiece of the workers as well as negotiate better compensation and benefit packages in the future. But the management of the Bank of Ghana denied the allegations, describing the strike action as illegal. Esi Hammond is the communications director for the Bank of Ghana. From the capital, Accra she tells VOA reporter Peter Clottey that although the bank has taken all measures to ensure a smooth operation during the strike action, the striking workers could face stiff punishment for abdicating their responsibilities.
?You are aware that two members of the senior staff association had their employment terminated, and the staff decided to go to the streets in solidarity with them. We would want everybody to be clear that the central bank is an essential service provider, and we are not allowed to embark on any strike action. So, the action by staff is an illegal one, and I want that to be clear,? Hammond noted.
She denied the bank?s management gave reasons behind the termination of the two senior staff workers.
?We haven?t given reasons for the termination, and people are putting their own minds to it,? she said.
Hammond said the striking workers should know the options that are available to them.
?They have to know what their roles are in the first place. It doesn?t have to take that kind of termination of appointment for them to decide to demonstrate in the streets. And if you understand that your action is illegal that is it, it is illegal and you shouldn?t do it in the first place, whether we give you a reason or not. Those are supposed to be terminated staff; they are not supposed to be in the bank. So, I?m not clear on why any staff wants to vacate their posts and go in the streets because some others have had their appointments terminated,? Hammond pointed out.
She said management has taken all measures to ensure the activities of the bank are not disturbed during the strike action.
?Definitely, with all of these going on, our major concern really is to ensure that our operations continue smoothly, and that is exactly what we are doing. All the contingency plans are in place. We recognize that there might be some areas in the bank service that might be slow, but everything is being done to ensure that banking operations continue as normally as we have done in the past,? she said.
Hammond denied the striking workers have presented a petition of their grievances to the bank?s management.
?Nobody has raised any concerns before management. They just decided to go in the streets. I?m sure they know they could have resorted to other means other than go in the streets. As far as we are concerned they have just vacated their posts just to go in the streets,? Hammond noted.
She said the striking workers could face punitive action for abdicating their responsibilities.
?Definitely, if we know you have vacated your post, and you haven?t work, but be on strike, we would have to institute some action because we cannot look on unconcerned and see our staff in the streets when work has to be done. So, definitely, the bank at some point has to institute some action against staff that decided to continue this illegal action,? she pointed out.