Industrial Relations support by GEA
What is Industrial Relations?
“Industrial Relations” refers to all types of relations between employers and workers, be at International, National, Regional, Sectoral or Company level; and to all dealings with respect to social and economic issues, including salary/wage setting, employment and working conditions, Labour legislation, skills development, social protection, tripartite consultation, dispute settlement among a host of others.
Each industrial relations system is grounded in the national historical, economic, and political context and therefore differs from country to country.
As part of industrial relations, social dialogue is key for communication and information sharing; for workplace dispute prevention and resolution; and for helping overcome work-related challenges. social dialogue has demonstrated its potential as an instrument for democratic governance and participation; a driver for economic stability and growth; and a tool for maintaining or encouraging peaceful workplace relations.
Why is Industrial Relations relevant to business?
Industrial relations is key for businesses because of their repercussions on the working environment and the production of goods and delivery of services. Given the differences between systems, Attitude of Trade Unions, Governments regulatory framework etc. For Multinationals prior to getting established in a given country, businesses have to properly study and understand the way in which industrial relations system operate.
For instance, Employers sometimes may want to know if collective bargaining occurs in a multi-employer context, or if collective agreements are extended to cover all workers and employers (even if they are not members of a trade union or an employers’ organization); whether multiple trade unions are allowed in a given company and if all of them have a right to sign a collective agreement; or if unions tend to be highly conflictual and engage in collective disputes, how are disputes settled etc.
Moreover, because of globalization, new strategies to broaden industrial relations at the international level have emerged, such as through International Framework Agreements (IFAs) between a global union and a multinational company.
What is GEA’s position on Industrial Relations?
GEA believes that industrial relations systems cannot and should not be reduced to a single model: there is no one-size-fit-all. Businesses need to develop their industrial relations systems based on their specific situations, and also in relation to International labour standards which Ghana has specifically ratified; the various employment laws of Ghana and other best practices for which the GEA has the expertise to advice and support.
For social partners to be able to effectively engage in social dialogue and play a role in the industrial relations system, GEA firmly endorses strong, responsible, independent, and above all, representative social partners.
How does GEA’s work in Industrial Relations to advance the agenda for business?
GEA supports employers/businesses to find solutions to all their industrial relations issues and also provides the platform for discussing industrial relations issues and brings together its members within the Industrial Relations Policy arena through the Interest Group platform.
On this platform, issues such as industrial action, collective bargaining systems, the collective rights of Businesses, dispute handling/settlement (facilitation, mediation, and arbitration), General HR & ER matters among others are discussed; including other social, economic and labour matters confronting businesses; and solutions prescribed for effective action; generally, with a view to finding common ground for solutions.
These interactions lead to GEA’s advocacy action, through the advancement of different policy options/papers, and engagement of policy makers, key social partners like the Government and Trade Unions for urgent intervention to the benefit of Businesses. GEA also provides a network for members to interact with each other on specific points of industrial relations policies.