The growing rivalry between members of the Local Government Workers' Union (LGWU) of Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) and the Civil and Local Government Staff Association, Ghana (CLOGSAG) is far from over.
This follows revelation that CLOGSAG does not have the power to force other unions to join its ongoing strike.
CLOGSAG two weeks ago began an indefinite strike over a delay in the payment of what its leadership describes as "Top-up" under the Single Spine Salary Structure (SSSS).
Members of CLOGSAG had to call off a strike action late last year, after an intervention from the Civil Service Council. The leadership claims the government, represented by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) has not shown commitment to resolving their concerns.
But the National Labour Commission (NLC) has postponed indefinitely, mediation efforts, after CLOGSAG failed to appear at a meeting early this month to find lasting solution to the impasse
However, CLOGSAG fired back that it does not know the existence of LGWU. But General Secretary of LGWU, Joe Boahen, emphasized that the striking CLOGSAG came out from the LGWU in 1970, while the LGWU was set up in 1960.
He was quick to add: "It is the authentic representative and mouthpiece of all Local Government Sector Workers" made up of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and Local Government Service Secretariat.
Mr. Boahen further told journalists in Accra yesterday that since the inception of LGWU, it has championed the interest of Local Government Workers in the country.
It has been the union which represents employees of the Local Government Sector on issues concerning Conditions of Service, bargaining for higher salaries and their welfare, he stressed.
On legal backing, Mr. Boahen explained: "The historic enactment of the Local Government Service Act 656 (2003) granted LGWU representation on the Local Government Service Governing Council, which is the highest decision making body to champion the interest of the Local Government Workers".
Touching on collective bargaining certificate, he noted that in a bid to broaden membership and champion the welfare and aspiration of members, the LGWU reapplied for Collective Bargaining Certificate from the Registrar of Trades Union and was issued in 2006.
LGWU, therefore, has been given the mandate to organize all Local Government employees as spelt out in the Collective Bargaining Certificate. In view of this, it is logical that Local Government Service Workers best belong to the LGWU than any other association or union, he stated.
The Chairman of LGWU, Thomas Kujan-Tra used the occasion to appeal to the Controller and Accountant General's Department (CAGD) as a matter of urgency to stop the double deduction of LGWU members.
He explained that the current payroll management structure facilitates the payment of dues deducted at source by the CAGD from the monthly remuneration of staff of Local Government Service erroneously into the account of CLOGSAG instead of the LGWU.
According to him, in some cases, such deductions have been made to both LGWU and CLOGSAG, a situation which was creating a great deal of discontent within the ranks of workers of the LGWU.